The Star (Nairobi)

4 January 2013

Kenya: Jubilee to SMS Primary Results

The Jubilee Coalition will conduct its nominations on January 17 in a move likely to deter losers from crossing over to rival parties and alliances.

This comes a day after ODM also pushed its nominations to January 17, which is the deadline for parties to finalise their primaries.

The coalition, which brings together Uhuru Kenyatta's TNA, William Ruto's URP, Charity Ngilu's Narc and Najib Balala's Republican Congress, is also planning to conduct its nominations through a free SMS service.

According to a plan seen by the Star, voters SMS their national ID numbers to verify they are members of any of the parties, followed by their voter's card number to select their registered region.

They will then answer a series of five questions to select their preferred aspirants. Jubilee strategists argue that the system developed by the Team Uhuru Secretariat is not only cost effective but also allows for the results to be tallied live as voting continues.

"Voters and aspirants can at any time get interim results by sending the word 'TALLY' via SMS. This makes the process open and transparent and mitigates post-election legalities by automating the counting and result reporting," the Jubilee plan states.

According to nomination rules drawn up by TNA and URP, the coalition parties will be allowed to field candidates in their strongholds but have set aside 30 constituencies where the two parties will be free to compete against each other.

A member of the technical team that drew up the rules told the Star the move is aimed at ensuring that the coalition "caters for dynamics associated with politics in some parts of the country. This formula especially caters for the entire Northern Frontier where clans play a key role."

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