, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 31 – The United Republican Party (URP) said on Wednesday that it would oppose moves by some constitutional commissions to vet candidates who will be vying for elective positions in the next General Election.
URP spokesman Aden Duale said that only the, Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) are mandated by law to scrutinise suitability of candidates.
Duale who spoke while the party received defectors from Garissa and Samburu counties called on all other commissions to stick to their mandate as provided for in law.
The MP said: “The Constitution is very clear on the mandate of the commissions that we created. If everybody does their bit then we will have a free and fair election; the Constitution does not provide for amalgamation of commissions. We are telling the commissions to respect the law and do what the mandate they were given,” he said quoting provisions of Articles 80, 84 and 99 of the Constitution.
Article 80 of the Constitution provides that: “Parliament shall enact legislation to establish an independent ethics and anti-corruption commission, for purposes of ensuring compliance with, and enforcement of, the provisions of this Chapter (on leadership and integrity)
Article 84 of the Constitution provides that: “In every election, all candidates and all political parties shall comply with the code of conduct prescribed by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.”
On Monday, the Commission on Administrative Justice said it was working with the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the Director of Public Prosecutions to compile information about all candidates seeking positions in the March 2013 elections.
However, the EACC distanced itself from the said committee, saying it had the sole mandate to vet candidates and share its report with the electoral body.
The vetting of candidates has become a source of friction as it is seen as an attempt to block Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto from contesting for the presidency while they have cases at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
A case on whether the two should contest for the presidency is pending at the High Court.
On Tuesday, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission said it will come up with the criteria to vet candidates before clearing them to run for posts during the General Election.
Meanwhile, URP which is led by Eldoret North MP William Ruto formally received Information Minister Samuel Poghisio from the Wiper Democratic Movement.
Poghisio said that the he would no longer serve as chairman of the Wiper Democratic Movement which is led by Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka.
“When the Vice President announced that he had handed me over officially to URP, he was not doing me a favour; the pronouncement makes my position as Wiper chairman untenable and so from today I can no longer perform the duties of the party chairman,” he said.
URP also received Samburu East MP Rafael Letimalo, former Fafi MP Bare Shill and 37 councillors from Garissa and Samburu counties.