The Star (Nairobi)

23 January 2013

Kenya: Aspirants Flood IEBC With Appeals

THE Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission was last night staring at another possible crisis in the election calendar after it received an overwhelming number of complaints following last week's political primaries.

There were long queues of aspirants at the IEBC headquarters waiting to file their disputes with the IEBC after their party's dispute resolution mechanisms failed to deal with their issues.

Those who were dissatisfied with losing at the nominations and others who were unhappy with the process had until 5pm yesterday to file their complaints with the IEBC.

Political parties also had a similar deadline to submit all the disputes they had received but which they had not yet resolved.

"We have received quite a number of complaints but I cannot tell you the exact total number of complaints filed," one of the clerks at the Anniversary Towers said.

The IEBC has until Friday January 25, to resolve all the cases in readiness of the presentation of nomination certificates by candidates scheduled to be done next week.

This is the next stage after the nominations and will give the electorate an opportunity to know all candidates running for office in the March 4 elections. To accommodate the large number of complainants, the IEBC put up a tent outside its headquarters.

Among those spotted yesterday afternoon was William Oduol who together with assistant minister Oburu Oginga were disqualified for the Siaya gubernatorial contest. Oduol had claimed he won the nominations, a decision which was contested by Oburu. The confusion resulted in skirmishes and eventually led to the party deciding to disqualify both men.

Yesterday, it was not immediately clear whether Oduol had filed a complaint about his disqualification or the exact nature of his complaint.

Nairobi gubernatorial aspirant Jimnah Mbaru was also widely expected to challenge the TNA's decision to award the nomination certificate to ex-Embakasi MP Ferdinand Waititu.

And even as others were filing their complaints, some of the aspirants who were locked threatened to leave their parties.

John Magaiwa, the Migori ODM chairman who was seeking the party's nomination for the senate aspirant threatened to quit the party after a 'negotiated democracy' saw the ticket given to former Kuria MP Wilfred Machage.

"I won the primaries fair and square and I find no need to stay in the party that doesn't believe in fairness and equal treatment of all aspirants," Magaiwa said and announced that he had already made overtures to Jubilee coalition officials to offer his help in their campaigns in Migori and Kuria.

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