Parties that meet nomination requirements to get certificates
Political parties that have complied with nomination laws will get certificates of compliance from next week, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati said yesterday.
Chebukati said the commission is reviewing regulations and procedures of 89 political parties and will only issue certificates of compliance to those that have established rules that are aligned to Kenya’s Constitution.
“We had asked political parties to submit nomination regulations. We found them short of what we required and asked them to do review them and they have all submitted. Now we are reviewing the same and we should be able to issue certificates to those that have complied in a week from now,” said Chebukati.
On November 11, the commission rejected nomination rules the parties had submitted and directed them to revise their nomination rules and procedures pursuant to section 27 (2A) (9b) of the Elections Act 2011.
“Eighty-nine political parties had submitted the regulations. We asked them to review and resubmit and now it’s a question of analysing and giving certificates to those who have complied,” Chebukati said yesterday.
On October 15, the commission released the new party nomination guidelines for the party primaries scheduled to take place between January and May 26 next year.
The IEBC boss said the nomination rules must strictly comply with the Constitution, the Elections Act, the Political Parties Act, the Elections (Party Primaries and Party List) Regulations, 2017 and be in accordance with the party’s constitution.
The guidelines also stipulate that the party nomination rules should prescribe the process by which political parties nominate candidates in accordance with Article 88 (4) (d) of the Constitution and as guided by the
Elections (Party Primaries and Party List) Regulations, 2011.
Chebukati made the remarks in Mombasa on the sidelines of a two-day meeting with National Assembly’s Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC) to deliberate on the election laws (Amendment) Bill 2021.
JLAC chair Muturi Kigano (Kangema) said the laws should be in conformity to the Constitution and be up-to-date with the preparation for the upcoming elections and future elections.
“We are looking at urgent amendments in the election laws to ensure that they are in conformity to the Constitution ahead of the 2022 General Election and future elections,”said Kigano.
Kwale Woman Rep Zulekha Hassan, who is a committee member, said MPs will give their views on the proposed laws, especially those that seek to bar losers in party nominations from running as independent candidates.
Hassan proposed that names of winners of party primaries should be gazetted to block parties from sneaking in names of preferred candidates.
She said this will instill democracy and transparency in the nominations.
“If IEBC gazettes names of candidates that will participate in primaries, it should also gazette names of party nomination winners to instil transparency and bar parties from sneaking in names of individuals who fraudulently acquire tickets,” she said.
The committee has convened a two-day meeting with the IEBC to deliberate on proposed amendments to the election laws.
“The commission flagged areas that we felt require amendments arising from the post-election evaluation and especially the 2017 elections. Those are areas we are looking at to harmonise timelines and also look at areas that can improve the election process next year,” Chebukati said.
Once the committee adopts the amendments proposed by IEBC, it will presented them to Parliament.
Chebukati also asked politicians to stop putting the country in an early campaign mood.
“We are encouraging the contestants not to put in high gear issues of campaign and not put the country in the campaign mood because there is yet time to conduct campaigns,” said Chebukati.
But Kigano said it had become difficult to regulate election campaigns because aspirants enjoy freedom of speech.