The intention by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to use the voters register in the upcoming nominations of various parties is against the new amended political act that was signed into law a few months ago by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Speaking to the Western Kenya Times in his office in Kitale, human rights activist Kefa Were has accused the Office of the Registrar of the Political Parties (ORPP) of failing to update the membership list for each party, claiming that this could help in the nominations where parties could have allowed only registered members to vote.
He said the IEBC register should be used in the coming August election and not in the nominations.
“Subjecting parties to use the said register is denying the aspirants their democratic rights because none of the members from other parties will vote in the nominations and the right candidate may not get the party ticket. That is how we end up losing good candidates in such poorly organized nominations,” he said.
He added that if the intention of using the IEBC register in the nominations is not shelved, any Kenyan can run to the court of law and petition the whole process, something which may force the nominations to be canceled and repeated.
Kefa, who will be vying for Kapomboi Ward in Trans Nzoia Count through the United Democratic Alliance Party, further challenged the office of the political registrar and IEBC to extend the window for party nominations to allow those not comfortable with their parties to shift to parties of their choice.
According to the IEBC calendar, May 9 would be the last day to receive a party membership list. Those who would like to run as independent candidates are advised to resign from their party and not after May 9.
Mike Musungu is a reporter at Radio Simba in Bungoma and a correspondent of Trans Nzoia County for the Western Kenya Times.