November 2016

Dec. 12, 2016 (6 months, 2 weeks ago)

8th Nov: Rumours of an Attempt by MPs to postpone next elections: According to media reports MPs were exploring the possibility to push the date for the next elections following the amendment of a law that has made it difficult for the electoral commission to meet deadlines ahead of the 2017 polls.

11th Nov: Jubilee and Cord officials disagree over draft election regulations: The ruling coalition and opposition leaders disagreed over the draft election regulations developed by the electoral body to guide next year’s polls. Cord officials said that they will not allow the Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to buy election technology equipment if the regulations are not subjected to broad consultations.

16th Nov: Jubilee wants IEBC to fund its primaries: Jubilee Party wants the IEBC to finance the nomination of its candidates. The fear of fraud in party primaries has necessitated Jubilee Party to ask the Commission to help it in conducting their primaries. Naomi Shaban, Jubilee’s National Assembly Majority Deputy Leader also asserted that parties in Kenya are incapable of conducting free and fair primaries especially in their strongholds. Kenya has a history of carrying out shambolic party primaries.

On the other hand, the electoral agency said that it would not mind funding the party primaries if Parliament agreed to allocate resources for the polls. The commission is also developing guidelines for party nominations. But a section of IEBC top leadership is cautious about accepting the proposal to conduct political party nominations. This follows a warning that getting entrapped in internal party affairs may take away the momentum from the commission as an independent arbiter and erode public confidence in the outfit before the General Election in August. As Jubilee remains keen on its primary being conducted by IEBC, the Orange Democratic Movement maintained that it will use its elections board to conduct its primaries and not the national electoral agency, ODM National Elections Board.

20th Nov: Cord and Jubilee Party to be included in a case on tender for ballot papers: The electoral commission lost its bid to block Cord and Jubilee Party from being enjoined in a case where a South African printer contests the award of a tender to Al Ghurair. The Sh2.5 billion tender to print the next election’s ballot paper was awarded to Al Ghurair, a Dubai based firm. In enjoining the two coalitions Public Procurement Administrative Review Board chairman Paul Gicheru said that the coalitions have a right to participate in the case. IEBC had initially said that the two coalitions had no business engaging in the conflict between the two firms. CORD seeks to have the tender cancelled.

23rd Nov: Control Political Parties’ Expenditure: Senator Mong’are of Nyamira has chided the huge expenditure by political parties ahead of 2017 elections. The senator who announced his ambitions to become the President of Kenya filed an urgent suit to compel the Registrar of Political Parties to publicize the sources of funds received by registered political parties. Senator Mong’are also said that the registrar has not published the full list of political parties as the country heads into the election year. Neither has she made public details of how she has distributed money set aside in the budget to cater for operations of parties.

23rd Nov: Diaspora voting is unlikely due to insufficient of information: The Elections Observation Group pointed out that there is inadequate information on Kenyans living abroad. The information is key in preparing Kenyans in diaspora to vote in the 2017 elections. ELOG’s chairman said the available information is conflicting. For instance the number of total Kenyans in diaspora isn’t established. In addition, there isn’t clearly defined role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and IEBC in the matter of diaspora voting. The inconsistencies cited by ELOG have led to Orange Democratic Movement’s objection of diaspora voting.

24th Nov: Corruption and tribalism prevents free and fair polls: Deep-rooted corruption, tribalism, opacity among institutions entrusted on elections stand on the way of free and fair elections in Kenya. A report by the National Crime Research Centre titled 'Election Crimes and Offences in Kenya' showed that corruption among politicians was highest at 33.8% in election matters followed by responsible institutions at 21.4 %. NCRC has recommended the conducting civic education: on voter registration, their rights and good leadership and maintenance of law and order. The institution proposed promotion of patriotism, national unity and stiff penalties for those who violate electoral laws and as the possible solutions to hindrances. NCRC also wants the prosecution and sentencing of electoral crimes and offences to be strengthened at the point of arrest, gathering of evidence, prosecution and sentencing with the Director of Public Prosecution and Judiciary playing a role.

24th Nov: No more quick degrees for politicians: President Kenyatta made it difficult for politician who are rushing to acquire quick degrees to meet the academic requirements for aspirants. President Kenyatta directed the Ministry of education to ensure that everyone meets the minimum admission requirements. In order to graduate one must attend their lessons and meet with lecturers. Politicians have been rushing to acquire a degree within the shortest time possible in order to run for office in the next election.

26th Nov: Selection panel temporarily stops enlistment of IEBC Chair: The failure of Ethics and Anti- Corruption Commission to clear five shortlisted candidates for the position of Independent Election and Boundaries Commission led to the temporal stopping of their recruitment. The selection panel had to re-advertise the position after significant issues were raised on the first five shortlisted candidates.

30TH Nov: Roll out 3G Network Countrywide before elections date: Parliament directed the Communications Authority of Kenya to roll out a 3G network countrywide to be used in the 2017 elections, in a raft of proposals to right the many wrongs in the 2013 poll. Currently, only 17 per cent of the country is 3G enabled yet equipment for the August 8 elections will use the network to transmit scanned copies of results to constituency tallying centres.

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