18 January 2013

Kenya: Let's Be Honest About Nominations


THE selection process for party nominations for the March 4 elections did not go off smoothly yesterday. TNA even had to reschedule its nominations to today.

There was a lot of confusion. In places ballot papers went missing, or were sent to the wrong place. There was last minute party hopping as politicians quickly switched to smaller parties after realising they were not going to get nominated by the bigger parties.

The only good thing was that dire predictions of violence turned out to be exaggerated. There were scuffles and fights here and there, but on a minor scale.

We must now ask whether the process of voting to choose political party nominees for elections was over-ambitious. Recently the Registrar of Political Parties decided that non-party members can vote in the nomination process. That alone makes it a nonsense.

Moreover the headquarters of parties all seem to make the final decision. This is normal everywhere in the world. It is nothing to be ashamed of so why pretend different?

Let's give up the sham of a democratic nomination process. Let's happily accept that the party hierarchies choose candidates after listening to the views of their local supporters. There is nothing wrong with that.

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