Independent candidates meet IEBC-UPESINEWS
BY JOHN WERU.NAIROBI,23RD MAY 2017-The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission IEBC has no intentions of locking out the independent candidates out of the August 8 Polls.This is according the IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati.Speaking Tuesday during a meeting with the candidates at the commissions offices in Nairobi, reiterated that they have no say on list of independent supporters as the requirement is stipulated by law.
The IEBC boss added presidential candidates with questionable academic degrees will not be allowed to participate in the August poll. Chebukati was responding to sentiments aired by some independent candidates at the meeting who accused the Commission over their 48,000 signature requirement, terming it a ‘conspiracy to block out independent candidates from the ballot’.
Those who want to appear on the ballot as presidential candidates will have to present at least 2000 signatures of non-party affiliated supporters from at least 24 counties – a requirement that parties have deemed nearly impossible.
The independents have accused the poll body of setting up numerous roadblocks for them, adding that the requirements could be aimed at discouraging them from vying for Kenya’s top seat.
“This is a conspiracy by you, IEBC, to block out independent candidates from vying in the coming August polls,” said Nazlin Umar.
The candidates urged IEBC to allow them submit an open list of 48,000 supporters from at least 24 counties – even if the supporters are affiliated to other parties.
On his part, Joe Nyaga called upon the electoral body to solve its issues with the opposition, the National Super Alliance (NASA).
The Raila Odinga-led Opposition outfit has numerously threatened to sit out the August 8 General Election if IEBC succeeds in its bid to overturn a ruling on the tallying of presidential poll results at the constituency level be final.
Instead of debating the presidential vote tally dispute in court, Nyaga advised IEBC to discuss the issue with NASA directly.
“Why you don’t just sit with NASA and solve the problem once and for all, because you, IEBC, will be judged by Kenyans based on how you will execute these elections,” said Nyaga.
Mohamed Abdouba Dida, who was able to garner a massive 52,848 votes in the 2013 presidential poll, slammed the media fraternity for their alleged plan to lock independent candidates out of the national presidential debate.
Dida said that no potential leader should be locked out of an opportunity to engage with the public, arguing that independent candidates have the greatest potential to reform the country.