Top Stories / 2017 Elections
Friday, 07 Apr 2017 16:15 EATnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.com
The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) postponed its primaries initially scheduled to start tomorrow after Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) maintained the exercise begins on April 13. IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati has stood ground that party primaries start on Thursday next week and must be concluded by April 26.
The chairman said today that political parties should submit their list of nominees to the commission on or before Monday, May 10. It is, however, to be seen the direction ODM takes after the IEBC directive following Wednesday's statement by its leader Raila Odinga that the party would defy the commission's directive, and party primaries start today. Mr Odinga said parties are independent and as such cannot take orders from the commission on when to conduct the mini-polls.
The ODM Central Committee met this afternoon under the chairmanship of Mr Odinga and rescheduled its nominations to between 13 - 25 April. NEB had yesterday pushed the nominations ahead by one day with chairperson Judith Pareno saying the postponement was to have schools closed. ODM had planned to kick off the primaries at Bungoma, Busia, and Machakos on the first day of the exercise tomorrow. Kisii, Nyamira, Samburu and Trans Nzoia would follow on April 9 in the nominations that were planned to end on April 23.
IEBC chairman says that party nominations will only be conducted after the commission gazettes the names of those who will participate in the mini-polls. "Section 31 (2c) of the Election Act requires the commission to publish the names of persons contesting in a party primary and the date of the same within seven (7) days of the receipt of the names of the party candidates. The deadline for submitting the said names was April 5, 2017," he said.
He said the commission is in the process of publishing the names received from the political parties in the gazette in accordance with the law. "Parties may proceed to hold their primaries in accordance with IEBC's timelines once the candidates have been published in the Kenya gazette," he said.