Parties unite to block defectors
Published on November 6, 2007, 12:00 am
By Standard Team
In a bid to forestall cross-party defections, the three major political parties are now playing a cat and mouse game around the Electoral Commission of Kenya nomination deadline on November 16 for parliamentary candidates.
The Party of National Unity (PNU), ODM and ODM-Kenya were on Monday working for simultaneous parliamentary nominations on November 16, the last day set by the ECK for parties to pick parliamentary aspirants. The parties are then required to present the full list of nominees to the ECK on November 21.
And ODM presidential candidate Mr Raila Odinga on Monday met with over 1,000 former MPs and aspirants seeking the party’s ticket, and said there would be no sacred cows and direct nominations for candidates.
Raila told the former MPs and the new aspirants to stop believing in propaganda that the Pentagon members would try to influence the nominations in favour of certain individuals.
Raila gave the example of the Labour Party in the United Kingdom, which had on three occasions lost their quest to win the elections due to interference at the nominations stage.
On its part, the PNU announced a crucial meeting for Friday where they expect to come up with a pact to bind all aspirants against party hopping soon after the November 16 nominations.
PNU National Elections Board deputy chairperson, Ms Amina Abdallah, said the party was taking this precautionary step to ensure there was no fallout after the party conducts the nominations expected to be hotly contested.
And reading from a similar script, ODM-Kenya also announced it had pushed its nomination date from November 15 to 16 to ensure it holds the crucial preliminaries alongside its competitors.
Although the party gave the KCPE examinations as an excuse to move their nominations, observers were not lost to the fact that all the main parties planned to hold their parliamentary nominations on the same date.
The ECK stood its ground that it would not bend its rules requiring all parties to submit lists of their nominees five days ahead of the formal ECK nominations.
“By introducing this rule, which was passed in Parliament, the defections previously experienced in parties when one is not nominated will be streamlined. I ask political parties to follow it,” said ECK deputy chairman Mr Kihara Muttu.
The notice reads: “Each political party wishing to participate in this year’s General Election must finalise the nomination of its candidates…five days before the formal nomination.”