NAIROBI, Kenya MAY 29 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has cleared eight candidates to participate in the presidential election in August.
Those cleared are President Uhuru Kenyatta of Jubilee Party, ODM’s Raila Odinga, Cyrus Jirongo of the United Democratic Party (UDP), Ekuru Aukot of Thirdway Alliance, Abduba Dida of the Alliance for Real Change (ARC), and Independent candidates Joseph Nyagah, Michael Wainaina and Japheth Kavinga.
The commission however, disqualified Justus Juma of the Justice and Freedom Party (JFP), and Independent candidates Erastus Nyamera, Truphena Ochwami and Nazlin Umar who did not meet all the requirements.
The electoral Commission Chairperson Wafula Chebukati who conducted the two-day exercise assured that the commission will conduct a “free, fair and transparent election”.
“We have had a successful process and I can assure you as a commission we shall give every candidate a fair chance,” Chebukati told journalists at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), the venue of the presidential nominations.
The commission also urged the candidates to conduct the campaigns in a peaceful manner, Chebukati warning that any candidate who violates the Electoral Code of Conduct shall be met with the full force of the law.
“We expect that you keep within the guidelines and regulations within the code of conduct. We want you to maintain peace as you campaign,” he warned.
On being cleared, President Kenyatta expressed confidence of being re-elected, saying “Jubilee party stands for peace, unity, and progress for all Kenyans. We are determined to ensure that we conduct our election peacefully and that we ensure that during this period we uphold the dignity of the Kenyan nation as well as the unity in the diversity of our people,” the President said, adding that “We shall go out there with the full knowledge that it is the people of Kenya who have the right to elect their leaders and we shall respect their wishes and we shall appeal to the people of Kenya to give us another opportunity to finish the good work we have started.”
“We are not people who rely on propaganda and we do not incite Kenyans against each other. All we want is for Kenyans to be together and enjoy the prosperity of our nation,” said the President when he spoke in Donholm, in the Eastlands part of Nairobi on his way to KICC to seek IEBC clearance.
On his part, Odinga who was cleared on Sunday said “I am now confident than ever before. We as the NASA family have prepared enough and we are going for victory. We are confident of winning the election.”
Independent candidate Joseph Nyagah promised to run a peaceful campaign urging other candidates to do the same to avoid plunging the country into election violence.
“Very often it is not the leaders who cause problems it is the supporters,” he went warning supporters of various candidates to maintain peace.
Michael Wainaina, also echoed Nyagah’s remarks calling for tolerance as the country heads to the polls.
UDP’s Cyrus Jirongo who has been a fierce critic of the Jubilee Government rallied behind the same clarion call saying political differences should not be the basis upon which Kenyans fight.
He told Capital FM News that he decided to offer his candidature despite his close association with opposition leaders saying he was yet to agree with them on a number of issues.
“We are all in the opposition but all of us have certain things we believe in. There are certain things I don’t agree with NASA and we’ve tried to negotiate but it has not worked, “he said.
Earlier in the day, Independent aspirant Nazlin Umar caused a stir when she demanded an explanation as to why her name was not appearing in the voter register.
Chebukati however, dismissed her allegations against the commission saying she does not qualify to vie for presidency.
“She did not return any document, she did not want us to look at the documents. Ms Umar is on record for saying she doesn’t have a university degree and she is also yet to return supporters form so technically she does not qualify,” he said.