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Registrar says independents still bound by IEBC clearance

Friday, May 13th, 2022 05:30 | By
KUJ secretary general Eric Oduor, Registrar of Political Parties Ann Nderitu and Kenya Editors Guild president Churchill Otieno in Nairobi after signing an MOU between Kenya Media Sector Working Group and office of the registrar. PHOTO/Njenga Kung'u
KUJ secretary general Eric Oduor, Registrar of Political Parties Ann Nderitu and Kenya Editors Guild president Churchill Otieno in Nairobi after signing an MOU between Kenya Media Sector Working Group and office of the registrar. PHOTO/Njenga Kung'u

The 47 Independent Presidential aspirants must still get clearance from the electoral commission, the Political Parties Registrar Ann Nderitu said yesterday.

Nderitu clarified that whereas her office has cleared the 47 independent candidates, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) will have the final say on who appears on the ballot paper.

Yesterday, the Registrar maintained that her office only clears aspirants by certifying the symbols they intend to use are not similar to the ones being used by the registered political parties.

“It is not the work of the Registrar of Political parties to clear candidates to the ballot, that work is for IEBC,” said Nderitu.

She further clarified that the 47 aspirants cleared by her office will still have to furnish the electoral agency with 2,000 signatures and copies of identity cards from at least 24 counties for them to be cleared.

In addition, the electoral commission could still ask the aspirants to change their symbols in the event that they resemble others being used by another candidate in the electoral area.

“Our work is to ensure that an aspirant does not use a symbol already picked by a political party or any other candidate. However, IEBC may also still request an aspirant to choose another symbol if they think that the symbol picked will infringe on the free, fair and credible elections in an electoral area,” she explained.

While signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Kenya Media Sector Working Group (KMSWG) represented by the Kenya Editors Guild (KEG) and Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ), Nderitu said violence during the party primaries had decreased compared to the previous exercises.

She disclosed in 2017, there were 306 cases lodged at the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal (PPDT) compared to a paltry 115 cases in the just concluded primaries, a move she attributes to improvement in the processes and methods.

“We have seen a tremendous decrease in the cases that have arisen from nomination processes from across all the political parties. We must applaud the political parties when they do well and not condemn them,” she said.

She acknowledged that most political parties conducted their nominations devoid of violence.

Party primaries

 According, to Nderitu, political parties are still facing challenges in conducting their nominations mainly due to lack of funds. While condemning attacks on journalists during the electioneering period, the registrar said scribes play an important role in educating the public and should be accorded respect and given free space to operate.

KEG president Churchill Otieno said journalists have the duty and responsibility of disseminating information to the public. “We are the ones with the duty of conveying reliable and wholesale information to the public. Recently we have seen so much support from the ORPP in access to information this should not stop, realistic and timely access to information build trust,” said Otieno.

On his part, KUJ Secretary General Eric Oduor deplored attacks on journalists during the campaign period, especially from politicians. “We are taking stock and we will pursue those involved. Those who feel aggrieved should follow the right channels and not physically attack or assault journalists,” said Oduor.

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