Make your political choice early, Registrar call to aspirants

The Registrar of Political Parties has advised aspirants intending to vie for the August 9th, 2022 general election to make their mind in good time on the political party choice or decide to be independents. Speaking during a live studio interview on Citizen television’s post 9 o’clock JKL show on Wednesday 9th February, 2022, Ann Nderitu noted that such early decision will enable the contenders to prepare and meet raft of aspirants requirements set out in the electoral calendar. “I urge aspirants to decide early their political parties of choice out of the 85 currently fully registered political parties or even as an independent candidates.” the Registrar counselled. She underscored in view of the deadline for aspirants, party members or even party supporters to endeavour to have been registered as members of the parties of will by 26th March, 2022.

This is ORPP set deadline for certification of membership lists prior to submission to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) whose submission end date is 9th April, 2022. On the matter of independent candidates, the Registrar guided that those that may wish to run as independent candidates are advised to disassociate from political parties and seek necessary clearance in good time ahead of the 2nd May, 2022 deadline of submission of their details including symbols to IEBC. “To live to the spirit contemplated under Article 85 of the Constitution, 2010, persons should decide right from the onset to be independent candidates and be mindful of the legal requirements and clearance timelines including not to have been in any political party at least three months before the date of the general election.

The Registrar also weighed in on a raft of other issues pertinent to the forthcoming general election and ORPP regulatory role. Such included highlights of the amendments to the Political Parties Act, 2011; ICT upgrade; procedure of resignation from political parties for elected and nominated members as well as party nominations. “I wish to clarify that the Registrar does not conduct party primaries but rather provides a regulatory framework for support of political parties to conduct credible party primaries. We therefore urge parties to declare their preferred method of conducting primaries that their members are conversant with and sanctioned by relevant party organs”, said Nderitu. She also acknowledged the concerns by a few members of public regarding political parties membership. “The concerns we have received have on membership have informed progressive reforms in ICT such as enlisting membership services (checking membership status, resigning or application for registration to a party of choice) on eCitizen platform that is easy and convenience for all. We are also working on upgrading Integrated Political Parties Management System (IPPMS) by introducing mobile service (USSD) out of which membership services will be utilised via your own mobile phone”, Registrar informed.

Elected and nominated members that may wish to change parties were also guided on the procedure of resignation. This entails notification of the Clerk of the Parliament or county assembly they belong, upon which the received notice from the Clerk to the Registrar with required accompanying documentation, will be the basis of effecting resignation from a party of such an elected member. She reiterated her earlier appeal to the citizenry to continue supporting political parties and actively participate in political processes included reasoned political discourse. “My clarion call to Kenyans is not to wholesomely demonize political parties and by extension politicians but instead raise areas of concern politics constructively for the growth of democracy. In any case, as a country we have made gain in multi-partism that we should be proud and ready to build on”, she summed.

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