Nairobi — The Jubilee Party Primaries will now be held over a period of two days and not one as earlier announced.
The National Elections Board Chairman Andrew Musangi on Wednesday said the decision was taken on account of an increase to 45 in the number of counties where there is competition for the Jubilee ticket with only the exception of Kisumu and Siaya where there will be direct nominations.
Half the counties will therefore hold their primaries as planned on Friday with the remaining 23 holding theirs on Tuesday next week.
Nairobi, Kiambu, Kirinyaga, Elgeyo Marakwet, Meru, Uasin Gishu, Baringo, Bomet, Laikipia, Muranga, Tharaka Nithi, Nyandarua, Embu, Kericho, West Pokot, Nandi, Nakuru, Nyeri, Kajiado, Narok, Trans-Nzoia and Taita-Taveta will hold theirs on Friday.
The far flung Lamu, Mandera, Turkana, Wajir, Marsabit, Samburu, Kilifi, Tana River, Mombasa, Kitui, Makueni, Kakamega, Vihiga, Bungoma, Busia, Homa Bay, Migori, Kwale, Nyamira, Kisii, Garissa, Isiolo and Machakos will hold theirs on Tuesday, April 25.
"The ballpark figure of the aspirants will still be in the 8,000 range. Remember we said we were not collapsing or merging polling stations so while I can't give you an exact figure because for example you'll have an area where the sole competition, I think we have one place in North Eastern, where the sole competition is going to be two MCAs, but since there are two MCA's, we don't have to have polling stations in the entire county because when you're dealing with an MCA you're only dealing with a ward competition. So we will still use the IEBC polling stations for that ward but you see why that mathematics is very hard to nail down to a specific figure at this stage."
Musangi together with Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju also made clear that the party register and not the much publicised smart-cards would be used to verify the membership of those who will be allowed to vote in the primaries. "A lot of people were not able to activate and upload their cards," was Tuju's explanation.
A total of 8 million, Musangi said, are registered party members.
Tuju also sought to assure that every possible security measure has been taken to ensure the exercise is not compromised, he said in response to reports that the ballot papers to be used in the primaries were already floating about.
He said the party had taken five steps to frustrate any efforts to 'bootleg' ballot papers including serialisation, use of watermarks and colour coding.
"I am 150 per cent certain, no, scratch that, 1,000 per cent that our ballot papers have not been compromised," Musangi said.
Musangi said the results of the exercise would first be communicated at the constituency level then once verified, at the county level with the final results being declared by the NEB at the party headquarters.
As a safeguard to ensure the legitimacy of the result, Musangi said, those enlisted to act as returning officers would be posted away from, "home," and would only be notified of their posts at the last possible minute.
The aspirants' agents, Tuju also pointed out, would be accorded the opportunity to photograph the forms used to document the outcome of the primary.
Tuju and Musangi on Monday said all campaigns for the Jubilee ticket should cease this Wednesday.