, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 13 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has began training the October 17 by-election candidates on what will be required for them to be cleared to vie for elective office.
The Commission says it has taken the step in a move to prevent the “last minute hitches that often cause unnecessary strife between the electoral management body, aspirants and political parties.”
“For the first time, Returning Officers will tomorrow explain the nomination requirements to potential candidates for the October 17th by-elections,” a notice on the IEBC website posted Thursday reads.
Those vying for the Siaya Gubernatorial seat will be presenting their nomination papers at the Alego Usonga constituency offices on September 19 before Siaya Returning Officer Jackline Osiemo.
The same applies for the Kibwezi West National Assembly candidates whose nomination exercise will take place at the constituency offices with Noor Arare Gedi as the Returning Officer.
The Matungulu National Assembly aspirants as well as the Ilima, Kahawa Sukari, Mnagei and Benane County Assembly contenders are to go through the process of nomination between Monday and Tuesday at their respective constituency offices.
The pre-nomination training exercise could be in response to the dressing down the commission received for the way it conducted the presentation of nomination certificates in the last by-election.
The Makueni Returning Officer, Salad Boru, bowed to pressure and cleared Kethi Kilonzo to vie for the Senate seat despite not being able to find her details on the electronic voter register.
The eventual revocation of her nomination certificate by the IEBC Nominations Dispute Resolution Committee led to a protracted court battle that in turn led IEBC Chairman Issack Hassan to lobby Parliament for the transfer of its role as nomination dispute arbiter to the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal.
Now that the commission has seven other by-elections to preside over, including the submission of nomination papers, it appears keen to make a good impression.
As is the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) whose candidates are again tipped to win; they are likely keen to avoid a repeat of the voter registration debacle that almost cost them the Makueni Senate seat.
Kalembe Ndile will be flying the coalition flag in Kibwezi West while Cornel Rasanga and Stephen Mule will be defending the Siaya Gubernatorial and Matungulu parliamentary seats respectively.