22 January 2013

Kenya: Treasury Shouldn't Fund Nominations


FINANCE minister Robinson Githae has suggested that in future the Treasury should fund the IEBC to conduct party nominations.

This is a bad idea. Firstly, it will be almost as expensive as conducting a general election. It will double the costs in election years.

Secondly, the IEBC risks being discredited if it get sucked into unscrupulous party politics at nomination time.

The right way forward is for political parties to manage their own nominations in their own way. Some may prefer direct nominations and some will want as many participants as possible.

But here are some recommendations that might help.

Firstly, complete the nominations at least four months before the elections, as the law originally stated before the MPs meddled with it. This will allow sufficient time for dispute resolution.

Secondly, make certain that only active party members can vote in nominations. There should be a rule that those voting should have been party members at least for six months.

Thirdly, accept that votes for nomination are non-binding and that party headquarters should have the final say on candidates.

It is the general elections that should be conducted by the strictest democratic standards. Nominations can be decided in a more practical fashion.

Quote of the day: "Religion is love; in no case is it logic." - British economist Beatrice Webb was born on January 22, 1858

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