The Registrar of Political Parties Ms. Ann Nderitu says this year’s elections has recorded an overall upsurge in the number of independent candidates and as of last week, there were 7,111 candidate running for various seats in the coming elections
Last week the Registrar of Political Parties Ms. Ann Nderitu declared that her office had so far cleared 47 individuals to contest independently as President in the August General Election, adding their final fate still lay with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
The Registrar said that this was the highest number of contestants her office has ever cleared to contest for the top seat in Kenya’s history. Majority of those cleared hope to whittle out votes in regions perceived to be dominated by supporters of either ODM-Azimio alliance or UDA. They will face an uphill battle against the perceived leading contestants in Raila Odinga and UDA’s William Ruto.
The Registrar says this year’s elections has also a recorded an overall upsurge in the number of independent candidates and as of last week, there were 7,111 candidate running for various seats in the coming elections. Ms. Nderitu attributed the increase to a heightened political awareness among Kenyans. The Registrar stated: “The increase is mostly because of awareness as compared to previous polls. A majority of them did not participate in the party primaries as they had started applying even before the party primaries kicked off. Others may come, but we are waiting to see the developments since everything is so dynamic at the moment.”
She said that the whole mix is heavily spiced up by independent candidates who were formerly members of political parties and lost in the nominations. The parties have come out to assure the public that they will work hard to ensure that the defectors do not threaten their grassroots support bases.
The threat was made by ODM/Jubilee- Azimio Alliance and its closest rival the UDA /Kenya Kwanza outfits and even Safina Political Party. Jubilee Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni is on record publicly declaring; “We are not going to allow independent candidates to eat into our support base, we will campaign very viciously against them because they have basically defied the management of political parties in this country.” He continued: “Their decision to run as independents shows they are defiant and do not want to be answerable to anybody. There will be more independent candidates running in the polls but very few are likely to make it.”
Ms. Nderitu said: The number of candidates running for the MCA seats independently is at 5,765, ‘’however as I have pointed out at the moment everything is very dynamic and moving very fast and there could be dramatic changes’’.