Tough new rules for aspirants on the way

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission’s powers to clear candidates for election have been enhanced in new regulations.

And in the new rules submitted to Parliament by the electoral agency, political parties will be required to foot most of the costs for the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to supervise and conduct their nominations.

Should MPs approve the regulations tabled in the National Assembly, politicians with pending cases or under investigation are likely to have a hard time getting clearance from the anti-graft agency.

The new regulations state that: “A candidate shall obtain and submit clearance from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission as prescribed under the Leadership and Integrity Act.”

It is supposed to replace another that states: “A candidate shall submit a self-declaration form as prescribed in the First Schedule to the Leadership and Integrity Act.”

Under the Act, a person intending to be appointed to a State office is required to submit to the anti-graft team a self-declaration form. The new regulation places the power to clear candidates squarely in the hands of the anti-graft body. Before, all a candidate was required to do was fill the declaration form.

Among candidates whose candidature could be periled are five governors under investigation and the two charged with corruption-related offences plus Trans Nzoia MCAs charged on Monday for similar offences.

MPs cannot amend the proposals but the Delegated Committee, which will scrutinise them on their behalf, has the power to annul part of them or throw them out altogether.

On party primaries, the electoral team said a party that requests it to supervise its primaries “shall be responsible for all the preparatory work”.

This means that it is the parties to inform members of the date, time and venue, invite applications from candidates and then process them and prepare a list of the candidates.

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