, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 8 – Aspirants seeking to be on the August 8 ballot as independent candidates continued to trickle in to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) headquarters in Nairobi Monday morning ahead of the deadline for submission of symbols.
Unlike at the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP), the process at the IEBC appeared quicker as attested to by William Mbeka, an aspirant vying for the Ndivisi Ward MCA seat in Webuye East constituency, Bungoma County.
“As a way of comparison, I think the registrar’s office was a bit slow in the sense that they were not well prepared compared to the commission,” Mbeka said.
“Here at the commission as you can see, the process is very fast. The clerks they have are efficient and well trained to handle the applications. I have spent 15 minutes here (IEBC) to be cleared, whereas I spent two weeks at the registrar’s office,” he added.
Mbeka said he opted for an independent ticket last year to avoid what he termed as a glaring defeat owing to shambolic party primaries witnessed in the past.
“I decided to run as an independent way back in November 2016 after having experienced nomination problems in 2007, the same replicating in 2013,” the former member of the Orange Democratic Movement party said.
According to Mbeka, independent candidates have an opportunity to beat their colleagues sponsored to contest on tickets of major parties.
He dismissed claims that their bid was a waste of time and resources adding candidates ousted in party primaries which he described as undemocratic have a lifeline in independent tickets.
By Monday morning, IEBC had received 3,880 applications according to the Commission.
Also expected to tender their papers are candidates nominated on various parties with the exception of those engaged in appeals at party tribunals and the Political Party Dispute Resolution Tribunal.
Names of all successful aspirants will be gazetted on May 13.