End of the road for five presidential hopefuls

David Waihiga Mwaura the Chair of Agano Party seeks courage and wisdom from God after he declared his ambition to contest for presidency in the August 9 polls. [Kibata Kihu, Standard]

The polls agency yesterday disqualified five presidential candidates who presented their credentials for failing to meet basic requirements such as submitting a minimum of 48,000 signatures of voters backing their bids.

The Independent and Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) said it is adequately prepared to conduct the August 2022 General Election. Chairperson Wafula Chebukati said the commission has addressed issues raised by the Supreme Court when it nullified the 2017 presidential election.

The agency rejected the applications of the five presidential aspirants, trimming down a list of 16 presidential hopefuls to just two who have been cleared. As of Friday, only Roots Party presidential candidate Prof George Wajackoyah and Umoja Summit Party’s Walter Mong’are had been cleared.

Deputy President William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga await their turns today and tomorrow. The other six who are yet to be vetted are Jimi Wanjigi, Ekuru Aukot, Peter Kingori, Njeru Kathangu, Eliud Muthiora Karia and George Munyota.

Mr Chebukati turned down the applications of Agano Party Presidential candidate, David Waihiga as well as independents James Kamau, Juliet Munyeki, Dorothy Kemunto and Jeremiah Nyagah. Mr Waihiga can, however, salvage his candidature after the polls agency postponed his clearance to tomorrow.

He was yesterday rejected for failing to meet the requirements on his supporters’ identification details but was given until 2pm Friday to resubmit the application. Mr Chebukati also turned down Mr Kamau, an independent candidate. He was given until noon to present a sufficient number of signatures.

The electoral commission directed all presidential aspirants to present 2,000 signatures from at least 24 counties as a pre-nomination requirement.

He, however, could not meet the requirement and his candidature was rejected. Ms Munyeki’s was also rejected for the same reason. She had only presented signatures from three counties - Isiolo, Kwale and Kilifi. Neither had her running mate filled the required Form 13.

IEBC started the clearance of presidential candidates on Sunday. The exercise taking place at the Bomas of Kenya will end on Monday. The poll commission is vetting the documents of the 16 aspirants who want to be Kenya’s next president.

The matter of IEBC addressing issues raised in 2017 was brought up by Chief Justice Martha Koome who expressed optimism that IEBC would not repeat mistakes that caused the nullification of the last election.