5 December 2012

Kenya: Voters Should See Pre-Election Pacts


THE Registrar of Political Parties has told the Star that she is not going to release details of the coalition pacts that have been lodged with her.

Yesterday was the deadline for submitting pre-election pacts for registration to allow Raila and ODM to run a joint ticket with Kalonzo and Wiper, and Uhuru and TNA with Ruto and URP.

The Registrar apparently believes that the coalition pact details might be misused for campaign purposes.

But surely the electorate should be fully informed about who they are voting for.

Voters will see Raila on the ballot paper with Kalonzo, and Uhuru with Ruto, but what does that mean? Will they be voting for unknown secret arrangements?

For instance, the coalition pact might state that a certain politician will control the Ministry of Finance and that might be anathema to some voters. They might not want to vote for that ticket if that is the case.

The Registrar should revisit this issue and make public the coalition deals that have been deposited with her office.

The new constitution promised freedom of information. There is no reason for these pacts to be kept secret, and there is every reason for them to be made public.

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