21 January 2013

Kenya: IEBC Grants Parties Leeway On Nominees

Nairobi — The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) again gave parties leeway as it extended the deadline for submitting lists of nominees from 5pm to midnight on Monday.

On Friday, the IEBC had extended the deadline for submitting the lists to Monday.

A brief statement from the commission said: "IEBC will be open until midnight today to receive political parties' nominees and membership list."

The decision by the IEBC to extend the deadline came even as parties were trying to mediate disputes that arose from the nomination process held last week. Polling in sections of the country was marred by delays with political parties trying to shift blame to external causes.

The electoral body also extend the deadline for the submission of the list containing 12 members nominated by parties to the Kenya National Assembly and 16 women to the Senate to Thursday. Parties are also supposed to nominate two members representing youths and persons with disabilities.

Parliament last year amended the Elections Act and stripped the special interest groups of two seats which are to be taken up by the presidential and deputy president candidates as a safety net from political obscurity, in case their bids are unsuccessful.

Unlike the old constitution, the new constitutional dispensation doesn't allow a presidential candidate to simultaneously vie as a Member of Parliament.

Meanwhile The National Alliance (TNA) party is among seven parties which have submitted their lists of nominees to the IEBC.

Other parties include the Party of Action, Social Democratic Party, Maendeleo Democratic Party, Republic Congress Party, National Vision Party, United Republican Party, NARC and Narc-Kenya.

TNA Secretary General Onyango Oloo said their list adhered to the rulings made by the TNA dispute resolution board.

The tribunal which was formed after party polls to handle nomination petitions received about 170 complaints.

"We have acted on their recommendations without altering a single word but believe me, they have overturned certain decisions and they confirmed certain."

"In any ruling of whatever nature one party may be pleased, the other party may not. We have advised those who are dissatisfied that the IEBC mechanism of dispute resolution is open to them"

At the same time, Former Kasarani MP William Omondi announced he had dumped the Orange Democratic Movement for TNA. He said that the party leader Prime Minister Raila Odinga had lost control of the party to his cronies.

Omondi said: "I have been a member of Odinga's various parties because of the enormous confidence I had in him as a competent administrator, but now he has ceded his authority to his cronies who are not competent to guide the party to victory in the forthcoming general election."

"My desire is to belong to a party that shall form the next government. The only party in my view that can accomplish this is TNA under the dynamic leadership and vibrant leader DPM Uhuru Kenyatta. From today henceforth I pledge to serve Uhuru Kenyatta loyally and in any capacity he offers me," stated the former MP.

The party is said to have given Omondi direct nomination to vie for the Kasarani parliamentary seat even though he had lost in the ODM nominations.

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