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Independents could threaten legislative processes – CMD cautions

Magara blames this predicament to Parliament and IEBC’s decision to push an anti party-hopping legislation/COURTESY

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 8 – The Centre for Multi-Party Democracy (CMD) Kenya Chapter is cautioning that a Parliament dominated by independents could be a recipe for chaos.

CMD-Kenya Board Chair Omingo Magara said independent candidates could pose the biggest challenge ever to multi-party politics.

He explained that independent candidates cannot be whipped to tow a particular line when it comes to voting and may end up casting deciding votes in favour of, or against, any legislation or oversight decisions by various Arms of the Government or the Opposition.

“Why would anybody subscribe to a political party in the next five years when he can only be an independent in a week. We are killing our multi-party politics. Assume that three-quarters or a quarter of these people make it to elective positions how do you even whip them? these are going to be loose-cannons, they are going to be guns-for-hire.”

“Accountability is going to be zero. We are doing things as if we are living in a different world,” Magara told a news conference.

Magara blames this predicament to Parliament and IEBC’s decision to push an anti party-hopping legislation that has failed to bring sanity and justice to political parties.

The umbrella political parties lobby group noted institutions such as IEBC and the Registrar of Political Parties which are meant to regulate the activities of political parties have largely chosen a hands-off approach

“At CMD-Kenya, we take the view that they were treated unfairly and their constitutional rights were violated but even the violation of that Constitutional provision, it is opening a can of worms and lawlessness in a civil structure,” said the CMD-Kenya Chairman.

Some 350 independent candidates made it past the ballot box in 2013 as compared to 3,880 who are processed by the IEBC before the expiry period for the submission of their symbols..

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A positive impact by independent candidates is that they will improve the quality of elective politics that is in the event, if many of them pass the ballot box test.

Magara noted that political parties may realize the need to afford their members a level playing field in party affairs – and nominations in particular.


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