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Jubilee Party warns aspirants against defections

Jubilee Party Secretariat officials Raphael Tuju and Joseph Mathai.

NAIROBI: Aspirants running away for fear being locked out after party primaries will still face Jubilee aspirants at the ballot, Head of the party Secretariat Raphael Tuju has said.

The party also warned aspirants that action will be taken against them for spreading propaganda that they were closer to party Leader President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto, and therefore are guaranteed direct nominations certificate.

The propaganda is aimed at intimidating rivals ahead of the party primaries across the political divide.
And apart from that, the party will be engaging the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on its intention to have the upcoming nominations conducted by the agency including an agreeable budget.

Tuju said that aspirants ditching Jubilee Party were cowards and should look for other reasons for leaving Jubilee but not because of nominations.

Tuju argued that the party is yet to name its National Elections Board (NEB) in line with the provisions of its Constitution and wondered why aspirants were getting scared of a process whose leadership is yet to be agreed upon.

“Those running away from Jubilee to other parties are doing so at their own peril. We will field Jubilee candidates in all the areas. We have not signed any pact with any political party or coalition,” said Tuju.

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On Wednesday at a press briefing at the Party Headquarters, the party officials assured aspirants wishing to contest in the upcoming polls that there are no preferred candidates.

The officials further argued that the party was yet to form NEB that will oversee the nominations, promising that it will be free, fair and transparent process.

“Our aim is to carry a credible process that is why we are seeking the services of IEBC which has got the expertise in elections,” said Tuju.

The party’s Secretary General Veronica Maina warned that wishing to contest in the nominations under Jubilee Party should desist from using the names of President and his Deputy in their campaigns to intimidate their opponents.

“Let it be clear that we don’t have preferred candidates and any aspirant using the names of party leader and his deputy will be in for a rude shock,” said Ms Maina.

The officials had on Tuesday evening met with President Kenyatta and Ruto and agreed to expedite negotiations with the Wafula Chebukati led Commission over conducting nominations.

The electoral commission has been laying the ground to supervise party primaries for what could possibly test their logistical preparedness.

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Political parties are required by law to conduct their primaries at least 60 days before elections.
This will therefore mean that if all the participating parties wait until the last minute as is the custom in the country, they could present the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission with a serious headache.

The electoral commission has already said that political parties that request their services will be required to submit a credible list of party members who will vote for their preferred candidates.

The team also approved the resumption of recruitment of party members that was halted to pave way for electorate to participate in the Mass Voter Registration that ended on Sunday.

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