16,259 candidates to contest in August polls, IEBC to print longer ballot papers

16,259 candidates to contest in August polls, IEBC to print longer ballot papers

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is staring at a logistical challenge as it grapples to accommodate over 16,259 Kenyans in the ballot who have presented themselves for elective positions in the August 8 polls.

There will be a total of 1,882 positions up for grabs but the growing number of candidates seeking Member of County Assembly (MCA) positions and independent applicants is almost proving to be a total nightmare for the electoral commission.

In each of the 1,500 electoral wards, at least seven candidates are eyeing the MCA seat.

READ ALSO: IEBC hands reprieve to nomination losers

It is expected that in this year’s race, Kenya will record the highest number of aspirants ever seen in any election.

There is an increase of 3,483 contenders who will be vying for elective posts up from the 12,776 who took part in the March 4, 2013 elections.

According to IEBC statistics, a total of 9,133 aspirants will be seeking to become Members of County Assemblies (MCAs) through their various political parties, just about 753 shy of the 9,886 who sought the same position in 2013.

Eight people, including President Uhuru Kenyatta of Jubilee and ODM’s Raila Odinga, have been fronted by political parties to contest for the State House job.

A total of 180 applicants including incumbent senators and MPs have presented themselves for governorship position.

1,470 candidates will battle out for the 290 posts of Member of Parliament, compared to the 2,098 that went for the seat in 2013.

260 aspirants have been nominated for 47 county woman representative seats by various political parties, compared to 303 in 2013.

However, the list excludes 4,950 independent candidates, who have sought clearance to contest in August polls.

The latest entrant to the growing list of independent candidates is Kiambu Governor William Kabogo, who lost in the Jubilee primaries to Kabete MP Ferdinand Waititu popularly known as ‘Baba Yao’

Kabogo polled 69,916 votes against Waititu’s 353,604 votes.

“Having consulted my wife, Kiambu residents and friends I hereby announce my independent candidature…I will be on the ballot. At the end of the day, we are one people with the same dream,” Kabogo said on Sunday.

Overall, there will be a total of 16, 259 contenders eyeing 1,882 posts in the August 8 General Election.

“Political parties uploaded 11,309 candidates on the Candidate Registration Management System CRMS by the 14th May deadline,” IEBC said in a tweet on Monday.

Candidate Registration Management System, abbreviated as CRMS, is a  system, one of its kind, that allows parties to upload pictures and names of candidates while tallying the number of candidates that have already been received, used in 2013 to list 12,765 candidates who were interested in the 1,882 positions on offer.

Yesterday, IEBC officials met with over 35 political party leaders and chairpersons to discuss the election preparation.

The Commission said it will convene with aspirants on May 23 for a pre-nomination meeting at their respective electoral areas and in Nairobi for a presidential meeting.

 

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