NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 17 – Narc-Kenya has accused the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) of using the forthcoming elections as a money minting venture.
Party chairperson Martha Karua told Capital FM News on Friday that it appeared as if the electoral commission wanted to make money out of proposed nomination fees.
She argued that it was unlawful for the IEBC to take advantage of political aspirants seeking various elective posts in the forthcoming elections.
“The electoral commission is proceeding from a very wrong premise because they sound like they think they are a business enterprise. We need to go back to more sensible fees,” she said.
She also said that the move was unlawful and discriminatory as it made vying a preserve of the rich.
The Gichugu MP added that the fee raise was also unjust noting that those seeking parliamentary seats would have to part with Sh250,000 and Sh150,000 for youths, women and persons with disabilities up from Sh10,000.
“That’s like raising it 1,000 times. The nomination fee has been Sh10,000 for a parliamentarian so how do you move from that to Sh150,000 upwards?” she asked.
Karua further urged the IEBC to go back to the drawing board and revise the rates saying the proposed fees would be rejected.
She asked fellow MPs to recall the subsidiary legislation and ensure that the fees were revised downwards.
“When an electoral commission starts making money out of people contesting it infringes on the rights of Kenyans to participate because it suggests that only those with money can make it,” she said.
“Leadership does not equal riches,” she stressed.
The IEBC has in the meantime released a schedule indicating that the county women representatives will be charged Sh250,000 not Sh500,000.
Several political aspirants and civil societies have already registered their disapproval over the new rates saying they will bar women from seeking the positions.
Karua however observed that the charges would not only discourage women from participating but would also put off other interested candidates who might not have access to the monies required.
IEBC also said on Friday that the new rates had been arrived at after holding discussion with stakeholders.
“The commission is independent in performing its mandate. The commission however observes the principle of public participation and the requirement for consultation with various stakeholders. Consultations were indeed made vide meeting,” said the IEBC in a statement posted on its website.
The commission also noted that it preserved the right to set electoral regulations as envisaged by the Constitution.