All political parties could find themselves between a rock and a hard surface after the country’s electoral body declined to extend the deadline for the ongoing nomination exercise.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) instead stuck to the Wednesday deadline and told parties to ensure that they comply with the move as gazetted.
This leaves patries like Jubilee, Kanu, Ford Kenya and Wiper which are scheduled to beging their nominations today with no room to undertake any repeat primaries in areas with disputes. Although ODM and Amani National Congress (ANC), have already held their primaries in some areas, they are scheduled to conduct nominations in some key areas this week that could spark frictions.
Addressing a news conference after meeting chairpersons of National Election Boards and Secretaries General of 14 political parties, IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati told parties to ensure that the primaries are free and fair by ensuring that poling stations are opened early there is sufficient election materials and issues of election malpractices are avoided.
According to the political party’s act parties, once the primaries are over on Wednesday, they will have until May 10 to resolve all intra-party disputes using their internal mechanisms and thereafter move to the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal if all the mechanisms are exhausted.
He said: “During the meeting, some political parties requested for extension of the party primaries timelines. After deliberations, the Commission directs political parties to complete their nominations within the gazetted timelines.
The move by the commission came after Musalia Mudavadi’s Amani National Congress (ANC) party and Kanu through the secretary General Nick Salat requested the commission to extend the deadline in order to allow parties conclude with the primaries.
The request for extension follows a series of anomalies that have resulted to cancellation of results and postponement of the nomination exercise in various centres. Following the move parties have only three days to conclude with the exercise.