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IEBC extends deadline for parties to submit membership lists

The electoral commission has extended the deadline for political parties to submit membership list by 10 days.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) said the submission dates were extended from March 17 to March 27 over concerns raised by political parties.

“The said lists may be submitted to the IEBC headquarters, Anniversary Towers (21st floor),” the commission said in a statement Friday.

To make it possible for the parties to submit the lists at their convenience, the receiving desk will be open over the weekends.

Under the changes made to the Elections Act late last year, the lists are supposed to be with the IEBC at least 120 days to the General Election.

Submission of the lists is important as they will be used to verify whether those who submit nomination papers to the commission are indeed members of the parties.

The commission would also use them if it conducts primaries for the parties.

On Thursday, the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee ordered the electoral commission to submit an interim voters’ register to parties by the end of this month to enable them hold their nominations well.

Members of the committee told the IEBC’s top officials the move would amount to the technical assistance it has said it could offer parties during their primaries.

“We are not telling you we want a final one. Give us a draft. We’re trying to help political parties. Let us have an interim register pending your own verification,” said JLAC chairman Samuel Chepkong’a at a meeting with the commission.

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati said the verification of the register should take place between May 10 and June 10, with the final register becoming available a month to the election on August 8.

This is because IEBC has to clean up the register after the verification and come up with the version against which voters’ names will be checked on the day of the election.

“If this interim register is not available, we’re going to have a lot of disputes after the party primaries. IEBC’s technical support to parties in the primaries is this interim register,” said Nyeri Woman Representative Priscilla Nyokabi.

Mr Chepkong’a said the idea of giving parties the register is to minimise mischief in the nominations. Party officials conducting the nominations would ideally only allow their members to vote depending on IEBC’s record of their polling stations.

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IEBC extends deadline for parties to submit membership lists