IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba, Commissioners Abdi Guliye and Consolata Bucha and Chairman Wafula Chebukati at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. IEBC received the ¬first batch of the Kenya Integrated Management Systems (KIMS). [Elvis Ogina/ Standard]
Major political parties united against party hopping yesterday as ODM-nominated Senator Elizabeth Ongoro signaled the start of the nomination ritual.
Jubilee, CORD and legal bigwigs said the negotiated law governing the upcoming election had fended off the practice. They urged institutions that will handle disputes arising from party primaries to uphold the law on the same.
A day after being slapped with a Sh1 million fine for violently storming the party headquarters, Ongoro decamped to ANC, which is part of the National Super Alliance (NASA) alongside ODM, Wiper and Ford Kenya.
“The law is clear. Once IEBC gazettes the list of aspirants and membership lists, you cannot move unless you want to run as an independent. Not unless you want to tell me she was a member of ANC before Wednesday last week, I don’t see how she will run under ANC,” ODM’s Director of Elections Junet Mohamed told Saturday Standard.
Wednesday April 5 was the legal deadline given by IEBC for political parties to submit their aspirants list for onward gazettement by the commission. The parties also had up to April 7 to submit their membership lists. IEBC has since published the gazetted list of aspirants in its website.
In the list gazetted by IEBC Chair Wafula Chebukati, Ongoro is listed in the ODM list as running for Ruaraka constituency seat alongside TJ Kajwang. She does not feature in the ANC list.
“The fact of the matter is that there is no room for party hopping other than through the independent candidate route. As parties, we have submitted both our aspirants and members lists. Essentially, the deadlines we had ring-fenced parties against this sort of hemorrhage,” Jubilee’s Adan Duale said yesterday.
According to lawyer Alfred Ndambiri, the intent and purpose of publicising the lists is to give notice to the people that the aspirants are running on those particular parties. The gazettement of the same also grants them legal status.
“In an ideal situation, nobody should move after these lists are gazetted. This is the spirit of the law,” Ndambiri, who is also an ex-electoral commissioner, said.
Yesterday, IEBC through its Corporate Communications Manager Andrew Limo pleaded to be spared of the party nomination fall-outs. Limo said the commission had given parties a window of opportunities to conduct primaries and present them candidates.
“We are assuming that they are following the relevant laws and regulations governing their nominations. There are well laid down mechanisms in case of disputes. I am afraid we cannot comment further on this,” Limo said.
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He however confirmed that IEBC had published the lists of aspirants for the various parties on Thursday and was in the process of publishing the membership lists by today.
The party hoping dilemma comes at a time when dozens of political heavy-weights are facing other supremos in nomination contests sorely anticipated by supporters.
In Jubilee, either Mike Sonko or Peter Kenneth may be sent to political oblivion when they meet head to head next Friday in the race for the Nairobi governor’s ticket.
In Nandi it will be either Governor Cleophas Lagat or former Cabinet Ministers Henry Kosgey and Felix Koskei who will be going home early.
And in Uasin Gishu, either Governor Jackson Mandago or Kiprop Buzeki will be sent packing while in Kisumu Jackson Ranguma or Prof Anyang Nyongo will bid the competition goodbye even before the real race begins.
In Kiambu, either Ferdinand Waititu or current Governor William Kabogo must eat the humble pie. In neighboring Murang’a, Jamleck Kamau and Governor Mwangi Wa Iria’s contest must produce a casualty amongst them.
When we spoke to them yesterday, most politicians avoided saying what their next plan of action is in case they lose, insisting they will cross that bridge when they get there.
“I am in the race to win,” said George Aladwa who will square it out with Rueben Ndolo for the ODM ticket for Makadara constituency.