Stick to rules to avoid disputes, polls agency says

Political parties have been asked to observe the rules submitted to the electoral agency for their primaries to avoid disputes.

The electoral commission said parties were required to use membership lists and not its register for the primaries.

This followed complaints that Jubilee Party was using the 2013 electoral commission register.

“Only aspirants whose names are in the party membership lists submitted to the commission should participate in primaries or be directly nominated,” the commission said.

The agency in a communication on its Twitter account said its voter roll had not been updated.

The commission said solely relying on its register could be misleading.

“We are now into cleaning, verification, confirming and closing the register for elections,” the commission said.

Jubilee’s national election board officials said they were only reverting to the commission’s register to verify if a member was a voter in that polling station “in order to prevent importation of voters”.

Some aspirants, the party said, might transfer people from other areas to boost their numbers.

“We are using our membership and the latest electoral commission register downloaded from its website to double check,” Jubilee Secretary-General Raphael Tuju said at the party headquarters in Nairobi.

The parties are racing against time as every outfit intending to participate in the General Election must have conducted its nominations by April 26.

Registrar of Political Parties Lucy Ndung’u said the primaries should be guided by party registers and lists of voters from the electoral commission.

“The commission register is important. You should not vote during the nominations when you will not be eligible to take part in the August elections,” she said.

Ms Ndung’u defended her office against accusations that it had failed to enforce discipline in parties and ensure fair nominations.

She said there was no law that specified when parties should submit lists of their members to her office.

“The parties should submit the lists when they want to,” Ms Ndung’u told journalists.

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