Jostling for political parties nomination slots begins ahead of IEBC deadline

Wafula Chebukati IEBC

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Focus has now shifted to coveted parliamentary and county assembly nomination slots after the electoral commission asked parties to submit their list of preferred nominees, in case of a win,  by June 25.

The move now sets the stage for a major scramble for the seats, that will include recent party primary losers who will join the fray, seeking nomination to be lawmakers.

Major political parties including the Raila Odinga-led Orange Democratic Movement and the United Democratic Alliance party allied to Deputy President William Ruto, are set to receive thousands of applications by interested candidates hoping to get a ride to the House.

In 2017 close to 10,000 hopefuls among them party primary losers applied for the nomination slots.

The then President Uhuru Kenyatta's Jubilee Party received 6,020 applications from those seeking nomination to the National Assembly, Senate and county assemblies.

ODM received  at least 1,200 applications.

On Tuesday, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) gave political parties until June 25, to submit party lists of the nominees to the National Assembly,Senate and County Assembly, ahead of the August 9 General Election.

In a public notice, on local dailies, on Tuesday, IEBC said that it expects the parties to submit all the party lists as per the Elections Act,2011 and the Elections (General) Regulations 2012.

"Notice is hereby given to the public on the law guiding the party lists  on the nomination of members of the National Assembly, Senate and County Assembly using proportional representation. Each political party participating in the August 9 General Election has to submit the party lists to the commission, on or before June 25.Parties should submit names of individuals they wish to nominate to the National Assembly and the Senate ,"partly reads the notice signed by chairman Wafula Chebukati.

The party lists required include 12 nominees to the National Assembly, 16 women nominees to the Senate, two youth nominees to the Senate,two persons with disability to nominated to the  Senate , eight marginalized groups nominees to the county assembly and nominees to county assemblies.

"For County assemblies,parties are required to submit 47 lists ,each representing a county and separately consisting of eight marginalized group nominees  to the county assembly.Further they should submit 47  lists ,each representing a county and separately consisting of a number of nominees equal to the number wards in the respective county,"states the notice.

This means the number of nominees to county assemblies  should be equivalent to the number of wards.

For instance,in  Nairobi County,the list  of nominees to the county assembly must have 85 nominees equivalent to the number of wards.

Already, a Bill by Jubilee Party Secretary General and Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni, is before the Senate ,seeking to make it mandatory that nominations for special seats in county assemblies be a preserve of people who are registered voters in those counties.

The Elections (Amendment) Bill 2021 seeks to amend section 34 (8) of the Elections Act to promote “local solutions to local issues” in counties.

This means that, for instance, if you are a registered voter in Nairobi, you cannot be nominated as an MCA in your home county as the Bill considers you an outsider.

The proposed law has been sent to the Senate for debate.

Since the advent of devolution, 770 positions have been reserved as special seats for the nomination of Members of County Assembly (MCAs) across the 47 counties.

Although,those to be considered should include people living with disabilities and minority groups, political party honchos have been dishing the positions to cronies and relatives and party loyalists.

For instance ,last year cronies,party primaries losers and other loyalists of political parties were handed nomination slots.

After receiving applications parties are expected to filter the staggering numbers before they can forward the lists to the IEBC.

The IEBC commission has also set regulations to be followed in preparing the party lists to ensure they comply with the requirements of regional and ethnic diversities and that only names of qualified individuals are submitted. 

According to IEBC,political parties must ensure that names of nominees to the  Senate,National Assembly and County Assembly have qualifications similar to those required of candidates contesting for elections.

In order to meet the requirement of regional diversity ,not more than one nominee in the party list should come from the same county.

To meet the requirement of  ethnic diversity ,IEBC has also ordered parties to ensure that not more than one nominee in the list for Senate ,National Assembly or County Assembly, shall be from the same ethnic community. 

"The party lists must reflect the regional and ethnic diversities -for the National and Senate nominees.Nominees must also be members of the party  and registered voters,"further states Mr Chebukati. 

Also the IEBC says the party list must include nominees to represent the youth,people living with disabilities and members of any other special interests.

In order to meet the gender requirement,the order of nominees in the party list must alternate between women and men candidates.

All political parties are required to submit party lists electronically by uploading the names and particulars of their nominees in the Candidates Registration Management System(CRMS) before providing a print out of the same.

Also,all party lists must be submitted in the prescribed Form 24B of the Elections (General ) Regulations 2012.

The IEBC says all party lists must be submitted under the hand of the authorised political party signatory.

Party lists that do not meet the requirements shall be rejected by IEBC within 14 days of their receipt, according to the communique.

A party list submitted to the IEBC shall also not be open for amendment during the term of Parliament or the county assembly for which the candidates are elected. 

Nomination is based on the strength of the number of elected members a political party has in the Senate, National Assembly or the 47 county assemblies.

Within 30 days after the declaration of election results, the IEBC is required to designate, from each qualifying list, the party representatives on the basis of proportional representation.

In allocation of special seats ,IEBC shall consider the number of seats won by a political party divided by the total number of  seats and multiplied by the number of available seats for allocation in the respective House.