23 January 2013

Kenya: Wambui's Protest At IEBC May Prove Costly

Nairobi — The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) will meet on Thursday to decide what action to take against Othaya parliamentary aspirant Mary Wambui and other politicians who staged a protest at the commission's offices on Tuesday night.

Wambui was accompanied by outgoing MPs Rachel Shebesh, Cecily Mbarire and Njoroge Baiya when she stormed the IEBC Anniversary Towers offices.

IEBC chairman Issack Hassan said the commission may decide to either fine, warn or bar the politicians for their unlawful actions.

"The nature and gravity of their grievances notwithstanding, their behaviour and method of addressing these grievances is unacceptable and unlawful. The commission is meeting tomorrow and will decide on that," he said.

The group staged a sit-in at the commission for more than three hours demanding to have Wambui's name included in the final list of aspirants from The National Alliance that was submitted to the commission.

According to Hassan, the group intimidated IEBC staff and acted against expected standards which should be followed when candidates have electoral disputes.

Hassan further warned other politicians that anyone engaging in violence and other unlawful actions will be held accountable using electoral laws in place.

He also regretted that party nominations were marred by massive irregularities but promised to ensure laws are observed.

He also said the IEBC will listen to all disputes forwarded and if complainants were right, their parties will be compelled to change the initial lists of candidates submitted.

He said the commission has no powers to interfere with the lists but will ask the parties to make the changes where disputes have been resolved.

"We received the lists on January 21. The IEBC has no power to change names. It has no power to accept a new name or a new list after the deadline. However we can compel parties to change the lists where they have been disputes," he explained.

He also reminded parties that they have up to January 24 to give the IEBC names of nominated candidates. This include names of 12 nominated MPs, 16 women to the senate, two youths and two disabled people.

He also informed Kenyans that the commission was not involved in the nominations and warned those who demonstrated outside its offices that the complains they had should be directed to the political parties which were fully in charge of their nominations.

IEBC also said it would publish full lists of the names handed over to the commission by the parties explaining that all political parties managed to submit their lists on time.

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