Nairobi – At least 14.3 million Kenyans have registered as voters for the general elections due in March 2013, the electoral body said on Thursday.
A total of 14 337 399 voters signed up during the registration exercise that opened on 19 November and ended on Tuesday, according to a statement sent by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
IEBC initially said it was expecting to register at least 18 million voters. Some critics said the period was too short.
"Please note that the just-released voter registration figures are preliminary/provisional that are bound to change slightly once the final register is compiled," the IEBC said in the statement.
The number of registered voters is expected to rise slightly as Kenyans living in one of the East African Community (EAC) countries - Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, as well as Kenya - are still being enlisted until 25 December.
The published numbers show contrasting results among the regions.
The biometric registration process collected photo and fingerprints of the voters, which will be used the day of the vote to prevent rampant fraud that was witnessed during the December 2007 presidential election.
The protest against the result of the election descended into deadly post-poll violence that killed more than 1 000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands.
Kenya will hold general polls on 4 March, during which Kenyans will choose a new president - to succeed Mwai Kibaki - as well as MPs, senators, provincial governors and local officials.