Written by Carolyn Wamalwa
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63 per cent of the Kenya youth have indicated that the ICC ruling on post election violence perpetrators will not affect their voting decision in the forth coming general election.
A research report released Monday by the Pan African Research Services revealed that youth from Central and Rift valley are the least influenced, whereas those from North Eastern province voting decisions’ was highly pegged on the outcome of the cases.
The report further detailed how majority of the voting population risked missing a chance to participate in the polls due to lack of national Identity cards, as it was revealed that 22pc; which translates to 3.2 million of the youth are not holders of national identity cards.
“The youth have rarely been given the opportunity to air their views and aspirations that affect their lives… therefore in this report, PARS ventured in an unfamiliar area and engaged the youth on what their perspective on the upcoming general elections were. The findings suggest the need to urgently address the issuance of IDs to the youth countrywide with a specific focus on female youth, ages 18-24 years and those in the rural areas,” said Jane Mugo, the PARS Managing Director.
Other issues that were highlighted as crucial and could impact negatively on participation of the youth especially those from the coast region in the elections included the contentious Mombasa Republican Council factor.
Mugo recalled that during the study, it was established that the youth from the coast have a relatively lower intention to vote compared to other regions, and called for speedy interventions by the authorities to help reverse the situation.
“The intention to vote at the coast may have been influenced by the activities of MRC who have been discouraging people from that region from participating in the electoral process,” she said.
Moreover the analysis puts Nyanza and Western youth as having the highest will to participate in the voting process, with a majority expressing their willingness to vote for a female candidate, but into the position of MP
Ideally, the survey found out that the youth have high awareness of voting requirements and held high conviction in the body mandated to carry out the elections, which they believe will conduct free and fair polls.
However, the survey which was carried out between March and April 2012, focused on the perspective of the youth on the upcoming general elections and attracted over 2400 participants from the 47 counties and excluded party and candidate preference of the interviewees.
It was also found out that the biggest strife that the youth face was unemployment as well as poverty, drugs, HIV/AIDS and police harassment.
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