President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party has assured aspirants that ballot papers to be used in the nominations scheduled for April 21 will be foolproof.
Keen to gain as much as possible from the electoral commission’s technical support, the party says it has ensured its processes are watertight .
“Our handling and delivery of the ballot papers will mirror what the electoral commission does. We will deliver them all to the polling station by end of April 20, open them in the presence of all candidates’ agents and allow each and every one to take pictures of the whole process,” party secretary-general Raphael Tuju told the Nation.
The party has taken a huge gamble to conduct its primaries in a single day for all elective seats except that of President in at least 40 of the country’s 47 counties.
The electoral commission had declined to conduct the Jubilee Party primaries but offered technical support and training of its returning officers and top staff.
“We want to keep the location, transport and storage of these ballot papers a top secret. We understand that some malicious people might even want to burn them,” said Mr Tuju.
To further assure its 8,102 aspirants of a fair poll, the party printed and designed the ballot papers outside the country.
“We had asked each one of them to check with us that all their details, their pictures and names are correct on the ballot paper so that we do not have problems on nomination day,” he said. The party will meet with aspirants at the county level after Easter holidays and the same week of the nominations to “assure them of the integrity of the process”.
“We want to ease their minds. We want to tell them that everything will be okay as we take them through the whole process,” said Mr Tuju.
Already, the party has hired county and constituency returning officers.
The Jubilee team received triple the number of applications to the 30,000 openings it had in the primaries.
“We have finished hiring returning officers at county and constituency levels. The presiding officers and the clerks are now being processed, but this will end at the county level with the County Elections Board,” said Mr Tuju.
The party is ready to facilitate consensus in places where candidates are willing to reach a compromise.
There has been reports that the party was aiming at a consensus in Nairobi between governor aspirants Mike Sonko and Peter Kenneth, arch-rivals that Mr Sonko says will never make a team.
“There has been places where we have actively encouraged consensus like in Mombasa. If it works here in Nairobi, well and good,” said Mr Tuju.