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Electoral board backtracks on rule book

PULSE
By | May 14th 2011

By JAMES WAINDI

It is now official the forth coming national football elections would be free for all interested candidates after the Independent Electoral Board (IEB) amended the controversial clauses that initially locked out some aspirants.

Just a day after amending a clause that barred candidates with any political affiliation to vie for elective positions, the board further softened their stance on candidates with pending court cases, with the chairman Joe Okwatch saying "it was up to the voters to chose whom they want to lead Kenyan football."

This gives Football Kenya Limited (FKL) chairman Mohammed Hatimy who had previously been ruled out of the election for having a pending court case, the green light to defend his seat.

Candidates for the much-awaited elections also have something to smile about after the IEB announced the exercise would be held within the next two months.

Okwatch said the delay in preparing the code was not in any way related to the forthcoming Fifa elections set for June 1, noting they wanted to get everything right.

"After a stakeholders meeting on April 28 where a lot of issues were raised, we have now polished the code by accommodating some of the concerns raised during the meeting and I can confirm that it is now in its final stage and that we have achieved our mandate," said Okwatch.

He added: "About candidates with pending court cases, we don’t want it to look like a blanket judgment because court cases never reflect on someone’s leadership ability, so we would not want to judge anyone. If an individual feels it is honourable to step aside and wait for investigations to be completed it is up to himself, but the voters would be the ones to decide ultimately."

Okwatch said they would use the next four weeks to come up with a list of eligible clubs and voters, and provide nomination papers for qualified candidates.

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