Kenya’s 2022 general election postponed due to coronavirus? No, 2020 by-elections ‘adversely affected’ 

“Kenyans 2022 elections to be postponed until 2027. Government to use the election budget to fight Coronavirus,” claims a Facebook post from late March 2020.

Kenya’s most recent general election was held in August 2017. The country’s constitution sets out that polls must be held on “the second Tuesday in August in every fifth year”, making 9 August 2022 the date of the next nationwide election. 

But will it be postponed until 2027 because of the coronavirus pandemic?

By-elections for 2020 delayed

Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has not made any announcement about the 2022 election. 

In its most recent statement, on 1 April 2020, the commission said its activities had been limited by the countrywide measures to slow the spread of Covid-19.

“Not only have the day to day operations of the commission been adversely disrupted but also the conduct of the upcoming by elections will be adversely affected,” the commission said

But it was referring to by-elections in 2020, not the 2022 general election. The by-elections were to be held in four county wards.

The commission said activities related to the by-elections – voting during party primaries, campaign rallies and the actual polls – risked exposing voters to the coronavirus. It had therefore “resolved to postpone the by-elections to a later date in line with Section 55(B) of the Elections Act, 2011 and Regulation 64(A) of the Elections (General) Regulations, 2012”.

We checked the commission’s website and social media accounts and found no mention of the 2022 general election being postponed. – Grace Gichuhi


 

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