NAIROBI, Kenya, 29 – Four presidential candidates have been cleared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to vie for the March 4 elections, after presenting their nomination papers.
NARC Kenya’s Martha Karua was the first, followed by Peter Kenneth of the Kenya National Congress, James ole Kiyiapi of the Restore and Build Kenya party and United Democratic Forum’s Musalia Mudavadi.
Karua, who was accompanied by her running mate Augustine Lotodo presented her nomination papers to IEBC chairman Issack Hassan who cleared her after verifying all her documents at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre.
“It’s a great day not just as a woman but as Kenyan. I have been a woman candidate four other times but not for the presidency. I am presenting myself to Kenyans as I am sure that they are ready to listen and I will do my best to convince them that I am best placed to steer the nation to the next level,” she asserted.
Kenneth who was second in line was also cleared as he appealed to other presidential candidates to cease from misusing State resources.
“We want to play this game together so that we instil confidence in the electoral process because we still have a country after the elections. I appeal to you to show impartiality because we know that State resources are being used, we want a level playing field,” he said as he announced his plans to embark on vigorous campaign with the election slightly over a month away.
He said he was ready for the first presidential debates scheduled for February 11 to show the depth that his presidency is of a different style.
“We can’t continue to have the same players and expect change; it can never happen. This election is for Kenyans to decide and not for certain people to set an agenda; the real pollsters will be Kenyans on March 4,” he insisted.
Kiyiapi, a former Education Permanent Secretary expressed confidence that IEBC will conduct peaceful election as he appealed for a level playing ground in recognition of all the eight presidential aspirants.
On his part, Mudavadi who was the final candidate to be cleared on Tuesday urged the electoral commission to ensure the poll is free and fair and also appealed to registered voters to ensure they vote on March 4.
“The steps that you are taking (IEBC) are a landmark for this country. We look forward to the more difficult part which is to ensure the process running through is as smooth as possible. You are equal to the task, the challenges will be there but we look forward to free and fair elections that will bring honour to the people of Kenya,” he said.