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Center for Multiparty Democracy raises alarm over high number of independent candidates

By Michael Chepkwony | May 9th 2017 at 08:23:47 GMT +0300

CMD Chairman Omingo Magara

The surge in the number of independent candidates seeking elective positions will pose a major threat to the party system in Kenya, the Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD) has warned.

CMD Chairman Omingo Magara said the recent change to the Elections Act 2012 blocking party hopping was spelt doom to the future of the political system in the country.

Party hopping

He said since the institutions that should regulate activities of political parties had failed to prevent party hopping, future parliamentary proceedings would be marked with chaos.

"Most of the party primaries were shambolic and there is a likelihood that the independent candidates who lost in the nominations will win during the coming General Election," said Magara during a press briefing at a Nairobi hotel.

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"If that happens, parliamentary speakers will have nightmares because such independent leaders are not loyal to any party. They will have no party to guide them on positions to take on issues raised in the House," he said.

Mr Magara accused the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission of "lawlessness", saying it "enforced the law by breaking the law" when it fixed the party hopping deadline on April 26, 2017 and  thereby locked out many aspirants.

Nomination deadline

"Elections Laws Amendments Act 2017 stipulates that a political party shall nominate its candidates for an election at least 90 days before a general election and that deadline is May 7," said Magara.

He said time could not allow for a court appeal to seek changes to the electoral laws but advised IEBC to reconsider its stand.

The statement by CMD came at a time IEBC indicated there were about 4,000 independent candidates registered to vie in the August election compared to only 350 in 2013.


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