, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 23 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has rejected a plea by political parties to extend the period within which nominations are to be conducted.
IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati who addressed the media after a consultative meeting with officials of political parties convened Sunday to discuss ongoing primaries and adherence to the Electoral Code of Conduct, said the timelines set by the commission will remain unchanged.
“Some political parties requested for extension of the party primaries timelines. After deliberations, the commission directs political parties to complete their nominations within the gazetted timelines,” Chebukati said noting that nominations have to close by April 26.
“Parties have until 10 May to resolve disputes arising from their primaries,” he added.
Chebukati said the meeting had agreed to have ODM proceed with its nominations on Tuesday as the Jubilee Party conducts its primaries on Wednesday to avoid potential chaos.
“In view of possible security incidents that may arise from holding primaries on the same date in Nairobi, the commission directs ODM to proceed with nominations in Nairobi on 25 April and that Jubilee conducts their nominations in Nairobi on 26 April,” he said.
Jubilee Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju said the party had agreed to the request saying that Nairobi primaries will instead be held on Wednesday instead.
“There were issues of clashing dates and our attention was drawn to the fact that we rescheduled Nairobi to Tuesday and then it was found that it is clashing with ODM so we were asked to vacate that and make it Wednesday,” Tuju said Sunday afternoon after attending the meeting.
He said the party was ok with the April 26 deadline, dismissing claims that his was among parties seeking for an extension to conduct nomination.
“We don’t need any extension, we have planned to finish our nominations on Wednesday,” he said.
On the question of party hopping, Chebukati said the electoral body was waiting for a court ruling scheduled for May 29.
He however disclosed that the commission’s legal team was exploring a possibility of an early disposal of the matter on or before April 26.
The electoral body reaffirmed its position on the use of party lists during primaries Chebukati saying that the commission’s register should only be used to crosscheck if people who turn up to vote belong to the polling stations they want to cast their votes at.
“Parties shall only use their membership list during party primaries. The 2013 IEBC register may only be used as a reference point for identifying the polling station where the voters are based,” he said adding that IEBC was yet to share the 2017 register with political parties.
Parties were directed to ensure strict compliance to the Electoral Code of Conduct to ensure that nominations are conducted in a free and fair environment.
Further, parties are required to see to it that polling stations open early enough, ensure sufficient election material is available and guard against election malpractices.