Jubilee: IEBC giving us raw deal on parliamentary nominations

Newly elected Speaker Moses Wetangula addressing the house after the swearing-in of the MPs to the 13th Parliament on September 8, 2022. [Elvis Ogina,Standard]

Jubilee Party has claimed that dirty tricks were employed in the allocation of nomination slots in the National Assembly, Senate and county assemblies.

Party Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni accused the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) of interfering with the nomination list, which is dominated by the United Democratic Alliance and ODM members.

Mr Kioni expressed displeasure over the nomination slots after a Jubilee parliamentary group meeting at the party headquarters in Nairobi.

The only member of Senate nominated by Jubilee is former Uasin Gishu Senator Margaret Kamar.

“In the Senate, for example, one of our slot was taken away and we will not give it up even if it means going to court. We will do so because it was taken from us and given to one of the parties of our opponents,” he said.

Kioni claimed this was done to influence the voting of Speakers in the two Houses. He said Jubilee bagged five senatorial positions and hence they deserved two nomination slots.

According to the Elections Act formula, for every two senators a party gets, it is eligible to one nomination slot. Jubilee nomination list had former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s elder sister Kristina Wambui Pratt coming in second after Prof Kamar.

Kioni said the party has also been denied MCA nomination slots in various counties.

He identified Samburu County where he alleged that slots were not fairly distributed. The secretary-general said that Jubilee has seven elected MCAs but was only given six nomination slots while UDA, which has five elected MCAs, was given five nomination slots.

He further claimed Jubilee was denied nominations in Pokot, Kwale and Kilifi counties. “We will not relent since we want that regularised,” he said.

But in a statement, the IEBC ruled out any possibility of amending the nomination list, saying the window was already closed.

IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati said there was nothing they could do unless through a court order.

“We wish to inform the public that as per the Constitution and the Elections Act, the party list remains closed as that date of the General Election and the term of Parliament or county assembly as the case may be for which the candidates are elected and cannot be changed unless through the court,” he said.

Mr Chebukati said there were no possible errors in finalisation of the list as it was not done manually.

“The formulae applied through the electronic system is simple, secure and accurate and is without room for either adverse human intervention or bias,” he said.

He further said the commission completed the nomination list according to the stipulated timeline.

“The commission completed the process and published the nominated persons to the Senate and the National Assembly on September 7 and the list of persons nominated as members of the county assembly was done on September 9 through a special issue of the Kenya gazette no 10537 volume 181 and no 10712 volume number 186 respectively,” read the statement.

Further, Chebukati said his commission applied the formulae developed under Regulation 56 2 of the Elections Act.

The Act states that: “The formula for allocation of seats to the respective political parties from the party list shall be the number of seats won by each political party divided by the total number of seats multiplied by available seats for allocation in the respective House.”

Kioni said the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya is expecting National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang’ula to rule that it is the majority owing to the number of MPs they have.

He maintained that chairmanship of the committees would also be set aside for Azimio as the majority in the House.

“We do not have the executive but on the floor of the House we are the majority. We must be pronounced as majority of the House otherwise it will be an illegal ruling should the Speaker rule otherwise,” he said.

Legally, Azimio has a slim majority of 167-158 over President William Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza Alliance. But politically, Kenya Kwanza has about 180 members after winning over some Azimio members and independents.