2 January 2013

Kenya: Countdown to the March 4 Poll Starts

Only 62 days are left before Kenyans go to the polls to pick the fourth president. The elections will also usher in a new system of governance compriseing senators, governors, MPs and country representatives.

With the term of the current Parliament set to expire on January 14, the country's focus now shifts to party nominations and the March 4 general election.

Political parties wishing to field candidates have only 17 days left to finalise their nominations with the Electoral and Boundaries Commission setting January 18 as the last day of holding such nominations.

All disputes relating to or arising from nominations must be determined within seven days of the lodging of the dispute with IEBC.

Presidential candidates will be required to submit their nomination papers to the IEBC chairman Isaac Hassan on January 29 and 30 at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC).

A presidential candidate will also be required to submit a list containing names, signatures and copies of the ID cards of at least 2000 voters registered in each of a at least 24 counties.

Presidential candidates will pay Sh 200,000 to IEBC as nomination fee but Sh 100,000 for a candidate who is a youth, woman or a person with disability.

Independent candidates contesting for presidency have until January 18 to establish a functioning office in any part of the country.

Those who would have secured nomination certificates from their parties to contest as Senator, Governor, MP or County Representative will be required to submit their papers to IEBC County Returning in their respective counties on January 31st and February 1st.

The aspirants will pay Sh 20,000 as nomination fees through youth, women and those with disabilities will part with Sh 10,000.

Those wishing to be Senators or Governors will pay Sh 50,000 while youths, women and persons with disabilities will pay Sh 25,000. Official campaign period will be start at the beginning of February and will continue for 30 days.

According to the Elections (General) Regulations, 2012 those wishing to vie as independent candidates are required to obtain and file with the IEBC a clearance certificate from the Registrar of Political Parties certifying that the person has not been a member of any political party for at least three months immediately before the date of the election.

Parties as well as independent candidates have until February 18, which is 14 days to the election, to submit to IEBC the names of one national chief agent and 47 county chief agents.

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