2022 ElectionsNEWS

IEBC Approves 82 Political Parties to Contest August Elections

82 Political Parties have been approved by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to participate in the coming general elections slated for August.

The commission has approved the political parties nomination rules for the 82 parties seven months before the elections.

Addressing the press at Lake Naivasha Resort during the commission retreat, IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati noted that a total of 83 parties had applied to be cleared for the elections.

“The commission has a statutory duty to approve the rules of the nomination in order to clear the parties to participate for the elections and we have approved 82 political parties,” he said.

On voter registration, Chebukati said that the exercise would start on the 17th of January and run to the 6th of February with a target of registering 4.5 million  new voters.

The IEBC chairman also noted that in a similar exercise that targeted six million voters last year, the commission managed to get over 1.5 million and hence the last registration exercise.

The chairman however admitted that they faced a deficit of Ksh 5B to fully undertake the exercise that will see voters in the diaspora registered.

“Despite the shortfall in funding, we are confident of achieving our target and we plan to increase the BVR kits in colleges and universities,” he said.

Chebukati added that voter registration exercise for diaspora voters would begin from Kenyan Embassies and Consulates from 21st January to 6th February.

The exercise which was previously carried out in Burundi, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa has been expanded to the UK, Canada, US, South Sudan, Qatar and UAE and Germany.

“The commission will use bio-metric voter registration kits to capture biometric and biographic details and we are challenging those voters who have not been registered to turn up,” he said.

During the press briefing, he defended the move to appoint the commission CEO at a time the country was gearing to the elections.

“In 2017 I came into office a couple of months to the elections and we managed to deliver peaceful and credible elections and we are confident this will happen with the CEO,” he said.

He revisited the move by a court order that stopped IEBC from barring public officers from vying for elective posts adding that they had since launched an appeal.

He noted that as per the election rules, public officers interested in contesting in the general elections should vacate office by 9th February 2022.

“The commission has brought to the attention of the court subsisting orders of stay of the court appeal and we are waiting for directions on 24th January,” he said.

On his part, Professor Abdi Yakub, a Commissioner with IEBC assured voters whose fingerprints were worn out that they would also participate in the elections.

“If the BVR kits will not capture their biometrics we shall refer to the manual system of collecting their data so that they can participate in the elections,” he said.

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