Jubilee Party Wednesday decided to hold nominations on April 21 and 25 to ease pressure on logistics and deliver credible results.
The party cited increased interests from aspirants seeking its ticket, as well as an increase in the number of counties involved as the main reason for rescinding its earlier plan.
Jubilee had initially planned to hold nominations in 33 counties, but will now conduct the process in 45 out of the 47 counties, excluding Kisumu and Siaya.
Some 22 counties, which are perceived as Jubilee strongholds, will have their primaries on the original date of April 21, while 23 counties will have aspirants battle for the outfit’s ticket on April 25.
Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju explained that grouping was done on the basis of level of competition.
“We decided to deal with the more difficult areas where the party support is intense and the competition is hot,” said Mr Tuju.
The party’s National Elections Board (NEB) chairperson Andrew Musangi said that they decided to expand the number of counties after aspirants from areas initially considered as having marginal competition have multiple aspirants seeking the party ticket.
“Due to the increase in counties where the primaries will now be conducted, the NEB has scheduled a two-day process covering the original date of April 21 and a supplementary session on April 25.
This is an administrative decision arrived at by the NEB in order to reduce pressure on the staff managing the logistics of the exercise,” said Musangi.
The party announced it had already shuffled returning officers to ensure they do not work in their own constituencies.
Jubilee further clarified that returning officers will read out results at the constituency and county tallying centres, but final results will be announced at the party headquarters by the national elections board.
Results will be uploaded on the party’s website and at a noticeboard to be put at the headquarters.
The board said it was currently engaged in identifying candidates in areas where the party does not have sufficient membership to conduct a competitive process.
The party explained that some of the counties which will have their primaries on April 25 expect minimal competition thus may consider consensus.
“In areas where we do not expect competitive nominations, the county election boards may consider consensus or interview the aspirants before settling on one. These methods may also apply in areas where the party may experience hostility,” he explained.
Tuju said sole candidates will be handed their certificates after the party is done with the nominations.
Governors Kenneth Lusaka (Bungoma), Ali Roba (Mandera) and Meru Senator Kiraitu Murungi, who is running for the county’s governor post, are some of the Jubilee leaders set to be handed direct tickets since they do not have challengers for the tickets.
Senator Yusuf Haji (Garissa) MPs Mithika Linturi, who is running for Meru senate, will also earn direct tickets.
National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale (Garissa Township) and Emmanuel Anangwe have also benefited from the freebies.
The close to 7.5 million ballot papers are already at the party’s headquarters awaiting to be transported to various counties by tonight ahead of the make-or-break exercise.
Tuju said ballot materials will be at the polling stations latest tonight.
The party explained that it has put a robust system to ensure the process is credible and free of manipulation.