Rise of the independents could end old school political parties’ dominance


Almost 5,000 independent candidates, an unprecedented number
in a Kenyan general election, will run on August 8. And the possibilities of a surprising number
of them being elected are high.

There could well be many upset results in the races for
Parliament, Senate and MCA positions.

Kenya needs to accommodate independents, including in the
East African Legislative Assembly, where only the parties make nominations at
present.

The framers of the Constitution of 2010 had great foresight
in creating room for independents, but Kenyans have only slowly woken up to the
fact.

The rise of the independents of the 12th General
Election has far-reaching implications for the future of political parties in
this country, which have for far too long been rigid and exclusionist
organisations.

The independents are not making their move in a vacuum. Even
in a world power like France, President Emmanuel Macron, 39, entered the scene
and sent institutional old parties home.

Who knows, a disruptive independent could well enter the
equation of the 2022 Uhuru – or Raila – transition.

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