, NAIROBI, Kenya Apr 22 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has blamed Friday’s chaotic nominations in his Jubilee Party to the large turnout in all counties across the country.
President Kenyatta said the party expected up to 25 per cent turnout in most centres, but more than 70 per cent supporters turned up to vote.
“While the party was prepared for a normal party primary, we were confronted instead by a full scale General Election in terms of the sheer massive turnout that we all witnessed, “he told journalists at a State House news conference on Saturday, “and that is where we had a level of under preparedness.”
He defended the National Elections Board, saying they under estimated the number of voters and only printed few voting materials.
“We were hit by a huge shortage of voting materials,” he said, and pleaded with party supporters to remain calm and prepare for the next exercise, “We will adequately prepare this time round.”
President Kenyatta who was flanked by Deputy President William Ruto, Secretary General Raphael Tuju and NEB Chairperson Andrew Musangi, pointed that the party was committed to conducting a fair nomination process “however costly that may be.”
He gave examples of counties where the polls were largely successful yet the party went ahead and cancelled the primaries.
“Even in counties like Laikipia, Tharaka Nithi, West Pokot , Nyandarua and Taita Taveta where voting had largely been completed with the support and cooperation of aspirants we also took the decision to cancel the nominations,” he noted.
Moving forward, the President said, the party has “embarked on a process of remapping the entire process taking into the account the massive turnout experienced on Friday” while assuring that adequate plans will be made to ensure the nominations are successful.
Of the 21 counties where nominations were scheduled to take place on Friday, only a few conducted the exercise that was marred by chaos and confusion after aspirants accused the elections board of delivering few materials, among other anomalies.
“The exercise has been cancelled in all the areas and new dates will be announced on Saturday,” Raphael Tuju, the party’s Secretary General announced on Friday night after protests from supporters and aspirants—some of who boycotted the exercise.