Deputy President William Ruto, centre, left, and President Uhuru Kenyatta, centre, at the Safaricom Indoor Arena in Nairobi on January 13, 2017.
By Walter Menya
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party has submitted the highest number of nominees for various electoral seats for this year’s General Election.
An analysis by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission shows that the Jubilee Party has 1,801 nominees, including its presidential nominee, followed by the Orange Democratic Movement, which has 1,289.
In total, besides the 4,950 independent nominees, the 64 political parties which will be participating in the August 8 elections have 11,418 nominees, bringing the total number to 16,368.
The emergence of the party lists follows a two-day retreat of IEBC commissioners.
The meeting, which started on May 16, was “to deliberate on party lists, enforcement of electoral code of conduct and disputes resolution”.
The analysis also comes at a time the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal is yet to complete its task of resolving the nomination disputes. There were 263 that went to the tribunal. Its hearings are expected to be concluded by Friday.
Besides the Jubilee Party and ODM, the other parties in the top seven with the highest number of nominees are Maendeleo Chap Chap (911), Kanu (695), Amani National Congress (639), Wiper Democratic Party (632) and Ford-Kenya (631).
On the other hand, the Roots Party of Kenya has only one nominee for the National Assembly and three for county ward representatives, Forum for Republican Democracy has 10, Ukweli Party (13), Diligence Development Alliance (16), Republican Liberty Party (18), Alliance for Real Change (19) and Liberal Democratic Party (19).
According to the analysis, the Jubilee Party leads in the number of nominees for every available elective seat besides the presidency.
The party has nominated President Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto for re-election.
According to the IEBC figures, the race for the president also has seven other nominees, including former VP Kalonzo Musyoka who was nominated by Wiper, although he has since announced that he will be Mr Raila Odinga’s running mate under Nasa.
However, a source at the IEBC on Thursday said Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka still have time to reconcile their applications and field one presidential nominee before the May 28 deadline.
Other political party nominees who will be challenging President Kenyatta for the presidency are Cyrus Jirongo (United Democratic Party), Amram Inyambuku Musungu (Maendeleo Democratic Party), Ekuru Aukot (Thirdway Alliance Kenya), Justus Zachaos Onyango Juma (Justice and Freedom Party) and Abduba Dida (Alliance for Real Change).
According to IEBC timelines, the presidential nominees were required to start submitting list of supporters from Thursday.
A presidential nominee must be supported by at least 2,000 registered voters per county in at least 24 counties, meaning that each nominee must present a list of at least 48,000 supporters. Submission of list of supporters will end on Monday May 22.
The Jubilee Party has outdone its competitors in the number of nominees for governor, senator, Woman Representative, Member of Parliament as well as Member of County Assembly.
The President’s party has presented governor nominees in 45 out of 47 counties, giving it an advantage over its main rival ODM, which has 27 nominees for the governor seat across the country. The two counties where the Jubilee Party does not have nominees for governor are Homa Bay and Kitui counties.
Wiper follows with 13 gubernatorial nominees, two ahead of Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua’s Maendeleo Chap Chap and Amani National Congress of Nasa principal Musalia Mudavadi which both have 11 each.