Magara: Why independent candidates are a threat to party system in Kenya

Magara: Why independent candidates are a threat to party system in Kenya

 The Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD) has warned that the upsurge of independent candidates seeking elective positions poses a serious threat to the multi-party system in Kenya.

The centre, which is a caucus of political parties, claimed the recent change to the Elections Act 2012 blocking party hopping spelt doom to the future of the political system in the country.

CMD said since the institutions that should regulate activities of political parties had failed to prevent party hopping, future parliamentary proceedings would be marked with chaos.

More than 4,000 aspirants have indicated that they will be vying as independent candidates.

“Most of the party primaries were shambolic and there is a likelihood that the independent candidates who lost in the nominations will win during the coming General Election,” said CMD Chairman Omingo Magara during a press briefing at a Nairobi hotel.

“If that happens, parliamentary speakers will have nightmares because such independent leaders are not loyal to any party. They will have no party to guide them on positions to take on issues raised in the House,” he continued.

Magara, who is the Party leader of People’s Democratic Party, accused the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission of “lawlessness”, saying it “enforced the law by breaking the law” when it fixed the party hopping deadline on April 26, 2017 and thereby locked out many aspirants.

According to the Elections Laws Amendments Act 2017 a political party shall nominate its candidates for an election at least 90 days before a general election and that deadline is May 7

He advised IEBC to reconsider its stand on nomination deadline.

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