28 December 2012

Kenya: Electoral Commission Publishes 2013 Poll Dates

Nairobi — The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has published a notice confirming the date of the next General Election will be March 4, 2013.

The publication of the notice comes as Members of Parliament amended the election law to extend the deadline for them to party hop, from January 4 to January 19.

The notice published on the IEBC website directed political parties intending to participate in the elections to nominate their candidates before January 18, 2013.

"Each political party wishing to participate in the elections must finalise the nominations of its candidate on or before the January 18, 2013," the notice states.

It further outlined specific dates when nominations of political party candidates and independent candidates will be held.

Nominations for presidential candidates will be held on January 29 and 30 and they will be required to indicate who will deputise them in their nomination papers. "Nomination papers submitted by presidential candidates shall include their nominee for deputy president who is qualified for nomination for election as president."

The candidates will be expected to submit their nomination papers to the IEBC at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre during the two days allocated for nomination of presidential candidates.

In the case of Members of Parliament, Senators and Women Representatives, political parties and independent candidates will be nominated on January 31 and February 1.

Those running for parliamentary seats will be required to submit their nomination papers to IEBC returning officers in their constituencies.

Party lists for nominated MPs will be submitted to the IEBC offices at Anniversary Towers in Nairobi on January 31 whereas the Senate and Women Representative candidates will deliver their nomination papers to the County Returning Officers in their respective counties on the same day.

Nominations for county governors will also be on January 31 and February 1 and their papers will be submitted to the county returning officers.

The governors will be required to include their nominee for deputy governor who is qualified for nomination for election as deputy governor.

The candidates for the county assembly nominations will be on January 29, 30, 31 and candidates will submit their nomination papers to the returning officers at the Constituency Election Offices.

According to the notice, all nomination disputes will be resolved seven days after they are lodged.

The notice by IEBC also indicates it is vital for people participating in elections to observe the electoral code of conduct.

"Every political party and every person who participates in the election shall subscribe to and observe the Electoral Code of Conduct set out in the Second Schedule of the Election, Act," it pointed out.

It further indicated that any persons found guilty of election offences will be liable to penalties imposed by the Elections Act which include disqualification.

However, its nomination calendar will be subjected to debate following the amendment moved by Parliament on Thursday to add 15 more days within which MPs can defect from the parties that took them to Parliament.

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