IEBC to clear Kalonzo Musyoka for presidency ‘if no one opposes’

Kalonzo Musyoka

Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka (right) with his running mate Andrew Sunkuli at SKM command Centre in Karen, Nairobi on Monday May 16.

Photo credit: Lucy Wanjiru | Nation Media Group

Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka could be cleared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to contest for the presidency unless someone petitions the agency against his candidature or there is a court order to stop him.

The Saturday Nation has learnt that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) intends to stick to what is provided in Section 23 of the Elections Act on qualifications and disqualifications for nomination as President when it clears candidates on May 30.

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It will only look into the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party agreement if there is a complaint, the commission said.

The section gives a checklist of things a person intending to contest for presidency needs to have. The requirements are that a person must be a Kenyan citizen by birth and not hold citizenship of any other country, be qualified to stand for election as an MP, is a registered voter, is a member of a registered party for political party candidates or registered as an independent, must have been nominated by the political party and the certificate signed by authorised signatories, must be supported by at least 2,000 registered voters each from at least half of the counties, must not have been declared bankrupt and must not have been sentenced to a prison term of at least six months at the time of registration as a candidate. The candidate should also have a proposer and a seconder.

The commission has also organised a meeting with presidential candidates or their representatives on Monday to take them through the requirements ahead of the nomination day on May 30. The meeting will take place at the Bomas of Kenya.

In the deliberations at the commission, membership in a coalition is not one of the things on the checklist, meaning that IEBC will clear Mr Musyoka despite the Wiper Party being a member of Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party, which endorsed former Prime Minister Raila Odinga as its presidential candidate.

“If a candidate satisfies what is provided in the checklist, then he is cleared. If any of the items on the checklist is missing, that attracts a disqualification,” IEBC CEO Hussein Marjan told the Saturday Nation.

According to Mr Marjan, the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP) is the custodian of the deed documents of a coalition political party.

“Therefore, at the point of registration of a presidential candidate, the returning officer is guided by the prescriptions in section 23 of the Elections Act and should not import qualifications or disqualifications not provided under the statute,” he added.

However, if someone challenges Mr Musyoka’s candidature after the clearance, the commission will establish the IEBC Disputes Resolution Committee to look into the matter.

The IEBC CEO said that at the point of registering a candidate, the returning officer does not exercise judicial or quasi- judicial authority to adjudicate a case on issues outside the checklist.


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