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Corrupt leaders to be locked out of August 8 polls

By WILFRED AYAGA AND RAWLINGS OTIENO | February 16th 2017 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

New electoral rules will lock out of the August 8 polls any politicians facing corruption charges.

Under the new rules tabled by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in Parliament yesterday, all political aspirants must be cleared by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) before vying for any seat.

The new regulations mean that politicians with integrity questions will be locked out of the race.

In the past, aspirants were only required to fill arbitrary self-declaration forms as proof of their integrity.

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The new regulations also set out the rules for IEBC's involvement in party primaries. The agency appears to throw a spanner in the works of political parties keen to use its services to conduct the nominations.

The electoral agency wants such political parties to perform most of the work in their party primaries, leaving it with the simple role of supervising and conducting the nominations.

"For the avoidance of doubt, the commission's role in party primaries shall be limited to the supervision and conduct of party primaries on the days set side for nomination and shall not participate in the preparation of party lists, save as authorised by law," state the new regulations.

Political parties are expected to choose their candidates in April in readiness for the main campaigns leading to the August polls.

The agency gives itself the power to reject party lists submitted by political parties where the lists do not conform to the requirement of the Constitution or if the party fails to submit revised party lists after the lapse of the 45-days deadline before the elections.

Political parties are also required to set up nominations dispute resolution mechanisms that shall be independent of party leadership and other party structures.

The IEBC also underlined the role of the Political Parties Tribunal in resolving political party primaries disputes.

This regulation is however likely to invite resistance from the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party, which argues that the tribunal has no jurisdiction to handle political party disputes.

 

The electoral agency has also tightened rules for candidates wishing to represent youths and persons with disability, stating that such persons must provide proof of their age and disability.

IEBC shared the regulations with political parties before they were forwarded to Parliament.


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