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Jubilee unveils elections board to oversee primaries

Jubilee head of Secretariat Raphael Tuju (2nd left) and the newly appointed NEB chairman Polka Wanyonyi (middle) address the Press at the Party’s headquarters Nairobi when the two top party officials unveiled the Jubilee Party National Election Board (NEB). (Photo Moses Omusula/Standard)

The Jubilee Party (JP) has unveiled a nine-member election board to “deliver free and fair nominations”.

The party, formed after the dissolution of 12 political outfits, Monday pleaded with aspirants to stick with it, pledging to conduct a clean process that will hand the most popular candidates victory.

The team will be chaired by P.G Wanyonyi, a lawyer for at least 25 years in Mombasa and Nairobi.

Other members are Vesca Kandago (vice chairperson), a former chairman of the Kenya Library Service, Samuel Nyangeso, a former National Council of Churches of Kenya secretary general, Rev Samuel Kobia, and a former commissioner general of the Kenya Revenue Authority, Michael Waweru.

Also in the team to steer the Jubilee nominations are Aden Noor Ali, Leah Ntimama, Carolyne Kamende, and Abdalla Khamisi.

Jubilee Head of Secretariat Raphael Tuju said there has been anxiety in Jubilee strongholds and that the unveiling of the team would calm the situation.

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“Areas where Jubilee is popular have been anxious about our nominations team. Today is therefore a great day for us as Jubilee in undertaking free and fair primaries,” said Tuju.

Mr Wanyonyi announced that the team was in the process of constituting county election boards in readiness for the nominations, which he said would be held soon.

“We have assured our members that we will run a process that is credible, free, and fair. I think that will stem the issue of fallout unless you feel that you must win. If you believe in Jubilee, you are still a winner even if you don’t emerge at the top.

“It is the commitment of this board to conduct a nomination process that will be a departure from the past when a lot of parties auctioned nomination certificates,” said Wanyonyi.

The team promised to deliver their part of the deal as the stakes for the August 8 General Election were high.

Jubilee will receive technical support from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

Initially, President Uhuru Kenyatta wanted IEBC to fully handle the process but the commission declined, citing tight timelines.

“We are going to work closely with IEBC to the extent they agreed to give us technical support,” said the chairperson.

IEBC, through its communications manager Andrew Limo, yesterday said its role would  be limited to “technical advisory”.

PARTY FALLOUT

Parties such as Maendeleo Chap Chap (MCC) of Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua, Kanu under Baringo Senator Gideon Moi, Narc Kenya of Martha Karua, and Party of National Unity (PNU) under Governor Peter Munya have started reaping from the Jubilee Party fallout.

Some of the big names that have ditched Jubilee for MCC are Jubilee nominated Senator Emma Mbura, President Kenyatta’s adviser Kilemi Mwiria, Embu Senator Lenny Kivuti, Mbeere North MP Charles Njagangua, Embu Deputy Governor Dorothy Nditi, and 15 Embu MCAs and nominated MP Robert Mutemi.

In Nyanza, the Federal Party of Kenya, the Citizens’ Conventions Party, the Green Congress Party of Kenya, and the Movement for Democratic Growth have indicated that they will support an opposition presidential candidate, with a keen eye on benefiting from the fallout from the Orange Democratic Movement’s nominations.

Jubilee’s plea to its members comes against the backdrop of a wave of defections to smaller outfits over fears that its primaries and those of the opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) might not be free and fair.

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Both Jubilee and NASA are on edge after the High Court temporarily suspended the clause barring party-hopping.

Other aspirants are keen to exploit a loophole in the election law that could see them party-hop after the primaries set for April 13 to 26.

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