Party Primaries Chaos Jubilee cancelled nominations in 21 counties due to chaos and insufficient preparedness which resulted in massive irregularities. Orange Democratic Party (ODM) also had chaotic primaries and a number of them had to be repeated.
Court ended politicians’ hopes of changing parties at the last minute when it upheld a ruling that locked the party hopping door on 9th April. This means losers in the ongoing primaries can only contest as independents. The 8th August election is likely to have a huge number of independent candidates, since dissatisfied losers are likely to vie on an independent ticket. Political parties have been spared from complying with the gender rule principle in the ongoing primaries and in 8th August polls. A non-compliant list shall only be rejected in 2022.
IEBC faulted the extension of party primaries by the court since they will affect timelines that are set to deliver free and fair election. The Electoral Commission said that Cabinet secretaries are free to campaign for President Uhuru Kenyatta ahead of the August elections, despite protests by the Opposition, which has called for their neutrality.
Following the nominations, it has emerged that at least 1,952 individuals want to be elected to Parliament. According to the data published by the IEBC, the Jubilee Party has a total 1,120 aspirants for the seats in the Senate and the National Assembly including Woman Representatives. ODM has 569 – 60 of whom want to be senators, 446 MPs and 63 Woman Representatives. Only 23 women are vying for Senatorial positions. Voter Register Audit The KPMG was commissioned to audit the voter register using the death and birth registers. The firm will also use the 2009 population census to assess, based on growth projections, the number of voters in a particular area before making recommendations to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.
Elsewhere, a voter challenged the new election law. The petitioner said that the changes will interfere with the electoral body’s timeline for preparing as well as conducting free and fair polls. The parts of the law in contention were the timelines for the audit of the voter register, opening it for verification and establishing an integrated electoral system.
Fears of Vote Tallying Tampering: NASA to have its own centre National Super Alliance (NASA) for planning to have parallel tallying centre during this year's elections. NASA leaders met with IEBC commissioners in a bid to resolve the issue and the matter was solved amicably. The law only allows political parties to deploy agents across the country. Jubilee Party leaders - Nyeri Senator Mutahi Kagwe and Kieni MP Kanini Kega - lashed out at NASA co-leader Raila Odinga's announcement saying it’s absurd and unheard of.
Early in the month, police held a Ugandan - feared to be working with the Islamic State group - on suspicion of attempting to hack into the IEBC’s systems. Similarly, governors demanded fears that the IEBC’s systems could be hacked and results manipulated addressed. Presidential Vote Announcement Ruling A court ruled that presidential election results declared at the constituency level by returning officers will be final and will not be subject to any alterations at the National Tallying Centre. The judges have ruled that Section 39(2) and (3) of the Elections Act is contrary to Article 86 of the Constitution.
IEBC’s Election Preparedness A survey conducted by Ipsos Synovate shows that Kenyans believe that IEBC will conduct credible elections.
The announcement came through as Parliament approved five sets of election regulations - paving the way for the Electoral Commission to manage technology use and nominations countrywide. The regulations included voter education, party lists and conduct of primaries. The anti-corruption agency’s powers in clearing candidates were enhanced.
Regardless, the IEBC was not out of the woods yet as it was sued for awarding a tender for an election management system to a French-based firm in a procurement process perceived to be faulty and corrupt.
The Polling Agency unveiled plans to roll out an integrated electoral kit to ensure that officials will not travel long distances to the national tallying centre to deliver results. By using multi-layered encrypted security features in the Kenya Integrated Elections Management System (Kiems), results announced from the polling stations will be scanned and sent to the commission headquarters in a matter of minutes.
Despite the well laid plans, a disagreement in the IEBC over staff transfer emerged just three months to the August 8 General Election. At the center of the simmering row were proposed staff changes and movements put forward by CEO Ezra Chiloba. The transfer has so far been suspended.