11 Presidential Aspirants Out Of Race as IEBC Braces Further Drop In Numbers

Fridah Wangechi | 2 years ago
IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati. PHOTO: The Nation

The  Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on Monday, May 23, disqualified 11 presidential hopefuls from the August 9 race bringing the number down to 55, and among them are Kenya Kwanza principals Wycliffe Musalia Mudavadi and National Assembly Speaker, Justin Bedan Njoka Muturi.

The electoral body met with the aspirants on Monday, May 23 where chairperson Wafula Chebukati explained that they had been disqualified the list over their failure to submit the names of their running mates before the May 16 deadline.

The other aspirants include Jirani Mzalendo party’s Lengala David, Mbugua Benson Mwaura, Kihuha Esther Waringa, Aoko Benard Ongir, Odhiambo Kevin Onyango, Ndekerere Joseph Kundu, Ngechu Moses Gichuki, Katoni Benjamin Kevin Ndambuki, and Nyagoko Jacob Oanda.

The IEBC is still expecting a drop in the number of independent presidential aspirants owing to reasons arising from their failure to meet the requirements that clear them to be on the ballot.

Many aspirants voiced their concerns about the requirements which they claimed were quite a stretch for them, such as the presentation of signatures and identity card photocopies of 2,000 supporters from at least 24 counties.

They claimed that they lacked the resources to reach the required number of supporters, claiming that the commission was locking them from the ballot in favor of those from major political parties, and asked that the IEBC avail them more time to complete the exercise as the deadline lapsed on Monday. 

The commission then extended the deadline to May 25 hopeful that they would comply without further hitches.

“We have allowed them to submit what they have today and ensure that by the 25th of this month, they would have complied,” said IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati. 

The aspirants have vowed to take IEBC to court to have the commission forced to remove the requirements in order to give them a fair shot at the ballot, regardless of their political formations, whether through a party or the independent route.

“You want to eliminate all these people from the presidential campaigns and have two characters only. That’s why you have made it so difficult for us,” said Former Runyejes MP Njeru Kathangu.

Independent presidential aspirant Kevin Odhiambo said the requirements were an effort by the electoral body to lock deserving Kenyans from exercising their democratic rights.

“The threshold set is too high and negates our rights to participate and vie for the presidency. Why would we be required to get people’s IDs and signatures? It is unnecessary and exclusionist,” Odhiambo reiterated.

The registration of presidential candidates is scheduled for May 29 till June 7.

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