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Don’t vote for a party, vote for best candidate

By Editorial | March 4th 2021

By-elections will be held today in various parts of the country. There have been intense campaigns, most notably for Matungu and Kabuchai parliamentary seats in Kakamega and Bungoma counties respectively and in London Ward, Nakuru County.

Tensions and isolated cases of violence have also been reported during the campaigns. As they head to the polls today, voters and politicians must remember that this is not a matter of life and death.

Violence has no place in democratic elections. Police should be on alert and arrest any troublemakers.

Particularly, allegations by Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika that there are plans to cause chaos ahead of the London Ward by-election should be investigated and action taken, if necessary.

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission must ensure a fair contest. There have been allegations of plans to rig elections. If anyone has an iota of evidence on the rigging claims, it should be forwarded to the poll agency or the police. Needless to say, such allegations, especially if they are unfounded, can stoke chaos.

Above all, voters should avoid being sucked into party the supremacy wars. Notably, political heavyweights have been crisscrossing wards and constituencies branding the contests a litmus test for 2022.

As a result, the polls have become less of the individual candidates’ contest, but a battle of titans.

And therein lies the danger. Voters are likely to be swayed and end up picking weaklings just because they are propped up by this or that party. That would be myopic.

Voters should therefore base their choices, not on parties, but on the strength of a candidate.

They should elect the best; the person with good pledges and whose character is without blemish.

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