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Why 10 parties may be locked out of August polls

At least 10 political parties, among them ODM, risk being locked out of the August elections unless they submit nominations lists to the electoral commission by end of business on Monday.

The commission said the parties had not complied with the requirement to submit the lists by April 5.

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Chief Executive Ezra Chiloba on Friday wrote to all political parties expected to conduct primaries reminding them to comply with the law.

“Reference is made to our letter to political parties REF:IEBC/VREP/2/14(37) dated March 24, 2017 outlining modalities of submitting party lists on aspirants who will be participating in parties primaries on or before April 5, 2017,” Mr Chiloba wrote.

He further stated: “On receipt of the lists the commission has since established that some parties failed to submit lists in designated electronic format.”

SUBMISSION DONE IMMEDIATELY

Mr Chiloba said the “submission should be done immediately but not later than April 10,2017”.

Some 28 political parties have indicated they will be conducting party primaries while 17 said they would give direct their candidates direct tickets.

On Sunday, ODM National Elections Board chairperson Judy Pareno said the party had complied by March 30 as required and asked party members and aspirants not to panic.

“We are in compliance and we did so on time. IEBC asked us to send soft copy and we have done that,” Ms Pareno said.

She said the party was ready for the primaries as per the time table released earlier but only made changes when the commission asked it to do so.

SERIOUS CHALLENGE

Parties are also facing a serious challenge conducting primaries as the law requires only party members to participate in nominations.

ODM registered less than 1.2 million people while Jubilee Party listed less than a million after their attempts to register members digital failed.

READ: Parties rush to meet pre-poll deadlines

Jubilee Party Secretary General Veronica Maina said that the party is compliant and ready for elections adding that enough numbers had been registered.
Parties, which allow non-members to participate in the primaries risk legal challenges and petitions.

Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo has appealed to political parties to agree to suspend the law the insist on only party members participating in primaries.

CAUSE CHAOS
“This thing is going to cause chaos it will be better if we suspend that law for the time being,” he said.

Gem constituency only has about 5,000 registered members of the party against IEBC registration record of 73,000, Kasipul has 9,150 against 56,000 registered voters.
“We have registered and made returns as required but is the responsibility of the campaign secretariat to reveal such information so that we don’t cause confusion,” she said.

She said the party’s Presidential campaign secretariat has assumed the mandate to speak for the party on election issues.

Many aspirants have pleaded with the party to do away with the smart cards that will be used to identify party members after wealthy aspirants bought majority of the cards but failed to distribute them.

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