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Jubilee to name polls board in readiness for the nominations

The Jubilee Party is set to name its National Elections Board as part of preparations for the party nominations.

The board will be tasked with preparing the party for what is turning out to be a major political and logistical challenge.

The Nation has information that the party is considering several names and is expected to make a final decision this week. The maximum members ought to be nine.

Sources within the party, who spoke in confidence, indicated that those being considered include Methodist Church clergyman Samuel Kobia, former JAP Election Board Chairman Aden Noor Ali, Mr Hussein Mohamed from the Coast, Ms Leah Ntimama, who is the daughter of the late Cabinet minister William ole Ntimama and former Kisii Mayor Samuel Nyangweso.

A retired senior official at the Kenya Revenue Authority is also being considered. A source indicated that the names are being vetted before formal announcement.

The party is also considering several names for the dispute resolutions committee, a requirement by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.

The National Elections Board will be charged with ensuring that the nominations slated for April are free and fair in what will be highly contested primaries in its strongholds where the party’s certificate is as good as winning the election.

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On Tuesday, the party representatives will meet with IEBC officials on modalities of holding the nominations. The six member committee is expected to come up with concrete terms of engagement. IEBC has so far remained non-committal on its involvement in the Jubilee primaries.

ENGAGE IEBC

Party secretariat head Raphael Tuju said they would engage IEBC with an open mind.

According to the Election Laws (amendment) Act 2016, IEBC can be requested by a party to conduct and supervise its nominations for presidential, parliamentary or county elections.

“We will have a policy meeting and also a technical meetings thereafter to determine to what extent the commission will come on board,” he said.

Some of the proposals that Jubilee has for the commission include provision of ballot boxes, verification of ballot papers, provision of returning officers and polling clerks.

“You understand that the commission has a database of staff that it can recall in quick notice. We don’t want our aspirants to propose personnel because they can bring their relatives,” he said.

Mr Tuju added that the party will use its own register but those who will participate in nominations will have to have registered as voters. It has been a contentious issue on just which register will be used. It’s not clear whether the party will allow aspirants to verify the register before nominations.

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The issue of which register will be used has been contentious with some aspirants saying that Jubilee register could be compromised.

He said on the issue of funding they are waiting to hear how much IEBC and government can go but did not rule out the party funding its nominations.

5M SMART CARDS SOLD

Party vice chairman David Murathe said five million smart cards have now been sold and 2.5 million more are set to be sold in the coming days.
This came as the party moved to quell fears that there may be preferred candidates in some areas.

“It has come to the attention of the Jubilee Party that some dishonest aspirants are peddling falsehoods that they are already in possession of nomination certificates from the party. We wish to make it categorically clear that the party has not issued any such certificate to anyone,” said Mr Tuju.

He said certificates are yet to be designed and asked aspirants not to be cowed by scare tactics of their opponent.

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“We are also aware of some people claiming to be close to the party leader and his deputy claiming to be in a position to secure them certificates at a “small fee”. This again is a pure lie and those doing so are just political con men,” he said.

He also announced that for purposes of nominations the party will not ask aspirants to meet 14 requirements like IEBC is asking for candidates. Instead the party is only asking for Identity Card, voters card and certificate of good conduct.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto have insisted that the primaries will be free and fair but this has not stopped several party stalwarts to move to smaller parties.

Those who have left include Meru Governor Peter Munya and his Tharaka Nithi counterpart Samuel Ragwa who joined PNU and Maendeleo Chap Chap respectively.

Governor Ragwa joined Embu Senator Lenny Kivuti into the party associated with Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua.

On Wednesday, the Jubilee secretariat disowned the “friendly” parties that support President Kenyatta’s re-election saying it had so far not signed a pact with any political outfit.

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