Raila, Ruto allies back on ballot as more than 5,000 independents seek elective posts

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has gazetted the names of 5,801 independents ahead of the agency's nominations. Of these, 38 are contesting in the presidential race, 74 Governor, 748 MP, 108 Senator, 95 Woman Rep and 4,738 in MCA races. This is, however, a drop in numbers of hopefuls that were cleared by the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties, which was over 7,000 aspirants.

"(They) have expressed intention to contest as independent candidates for the General Election to be held on 9th August, 2022 and are required to present themselves to the respective Returning Officer on the appointed dates for Commission nominations," IEBC said in the notice. 

Deputy President William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga are facing a major political headache in their strongholds after heavyweights who lost in the party primaries made a comeback as independent candidates.

Several sitting Members of Parliament (MPs) and close allies of the two presidential frontrunners have been listed in the special gazette notice by IEBC having applied for clearance as self-sponsored candidates.

In the National Assembly, a total of 748 aspirants are seeking to join the House as independent candidates with a record number of 4,738 seeking for MCA slots as self-sponsored.

National Assembly Deputy Speaker Moses Cheboi (Kuresoi North) is among sitting MPs running as independent candidates. Other incumbents seeking to defend their seats include William Chepkut (Ainabkoi), Vincent Tuwei (Mosop), Alfred Keter (Nandi Hills), Cornelly Serem (Aldai), Shakeel Shabir (Kisumu East) and Fred Ouda (Kisumu Central).
Also in the list are Kibra MP Okoth Bernard Otieno, Charles Njagua Kanyi (Starehe) and Mishra Swarup.

Mr Chebkut and Mr Shabir were both elected as independent MPs in the last poll while others decided to jump ship after losing in the party primaries.

In Baringo, Governor Stanley Kiptis is running as independent having lost in the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) nominations.

See the full list of name here:

More hurdles to jump

The aspirants will be subjected to further clearance with those running for president required to present at least 48,000 signatures of registered voters and Sh200,000 nomination fees.

Approval by IEBC for the top job is subject to submission of at least 2,000 signatures of enlisted voters from not less than 24 out of the 47 counties. The aspirants are further required to accompany the signatures with corresponding copies of their national identification documents among other stringent requirements before getting the commission’s node to appear on the ballot.

The ORPP cleared a record 46 Kenyans as independent candidates in the August General Election. The number has since dropped to 38.

The clearance by Registrar of Parties Anne Nderitu was on the basis that the individuals were not members of any political party for at least three months to the August 9 polls.
 

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