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IEBC sets deadline for independent candidates

Politicians looking to run as independent candidates have 19 days from today, to make up their minds, according to the electoral commission.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati said Wednesday evening that the independent candidates must submit their names and symbols by May 10.

“Independent candidates should not be members of any political party by May 8, being three months before the General Election,” said Mr Chebukati in a statement.

This means that aspirants can resign from their parties and vie as independent candidates if they can prove that they were not members of any party by May 8.

DISPUTES

That window may be useful for those who fall out with their parties in the ongoing nominations, some of which have been marred by violence and claims of rigging.

At the end of the nominations and decision-making, both the independent candidates and the aspirants will be required to submit their nomination papers to the IEBC’s returning officers at the constituency level between May 28 and June 2.

After this, the IEBC will register those who are qualified and handle disputes within 10 days.

Mr Chebukati said the campaign period would officially start on May 28 and end on August 5.

The commission said it has so far received 10,000 gadgets for the electronic identification of voters and the transmission of results and has agreed with the supplier to have the other 35,000 delivered by early June.

RESULTS

“It is worth noting that the entire system is integrated by design, as provided for in the law. This means that there is linkage and communication involving three processes namely the register of voters; electronic identification of voters; and electronic transmission of results,” said Mr Chebukati.

The first batch of gadgets will be used for the verification of the voters’ register from May 10 to June 9.

The gadgets are considered important as they are a vital component in having free, fair and credible elections. In 2013, the failure of the equipment used to identify voters and that used to transmit results was seen as one of the weak points of the election.

This is because clerks were forced to refer to manual records to identify voters. The failure of the transmission system forced returning officers to physically take the results to the National Tallying Centre at the Bomas of Kenya.

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