, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 23 – Nar-Kenya presidential candidate Martha Karua on Wednesday criticised the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) saying it should have published all the names of party nominees to increase transparency and reduce cheating.
Karua told Capital FM News that the electoral commission should also have compelled parties to first publish the names in their original form before resolving disputes to eliminate mischief.
She added that the IEBC must take firm control of the entire electioneering process including disqualifying candidates whose names were submitted after Friday’s deadline.
“Failure by the IEBC and the parties to publish the names is what is leading to crookedness in the process and to names being substituted,” she observed.
“If they do not make public the list they very well will become party to the irregular substitution of names,” stressed Karua.
Narc-Kenya forwarded the list of nominees on Monday and published it in one of the local dailies on Wednesday.
Karua at the same time accused rival parties of abusing last week’s nominations saying the culture of waiting for the last minute must come to an end.
She noted that many parties held ridiculous nominations that led to discontent among aspirants.
“Parties must take responsibility for the bungled nominations and let me tell Kenyans this, a government is as good as the political party that forms it,” she observed.
“If a party openly rigs those who won then you know that they will never be fair as a government and will always do things that are underhand,” added Karua.
The Narc-Kenya leader also said that parties had enough time to plan for the primaries and there was no excuse for the disorganisation that followed.
She added that her party set the nomination date as January 10, 2013 and stuck by it even after Parliament pushed the deadline.
“We also had a cut off date which was December 14, 2012 for people to apply for the nominations and picked candidates after vetting them,” she explained.
“But where we had more than one candidate we conducted nominations by secret ballot and we printed our ballot papers in advance and appointed returning officers.”
Karua further asked the Registrar of Political Parties to be on the lookout for rogue party hoppers arguing that there was a high chance that aspirants who lost in the primaries would backdate nomination certificates to secure a place in the March 4 general election.
CORD and Jubilee alliances have been grappling with disgruntled aspirants in various parts of the country who all feel that the nominations were unfair.
In The National Alliance (TNA), which is part of Jubilee, two aspirants seeking the Othaya parliamentary seat accused each other of rigging.
Mary Wambui said she won the nomination but her name was struck missing from the final party list. The issue was finally resolved in Wambui’s favour.
TNA aspirant Jimnah Mbaru also had an issue with the nomination of former Embakasi MP Ferdinand Waititu for the Nairobi gubernatorial seat.
In the Orange Democratic Movement, which is part of the CORD alliance, William Oduol and Oburu Odinga accused each other of rigging the nomination for the Siaya gubernatorial seat before the party decided to issue a direct certificate to Otieno Okanja, who emerged third in the exercise.
The nomination of Ruth Odinga against Jack Ranguma for the Kisumu gubernatorial seat was also contested before the former withdrew her candidacy.