The Office of the Registrar of Political Parties has deadline of the 2nd May,2022 cleared a total of 7,177 independent candidates to run for six elective positions. This marked over 64% rise in the numbers compared to the 2017 general election where 4648 independents were cleared. Those seeking to run as presidential candidates and Member of County Assembly rose sharply with the positions registering a total of 49 and 5,802 persons cleared respectively. Other positions included County Governor-105; Senatorial-150; County Woman Member to the National Assembly-108 and Member of National Assembly-963.
This fete was realised by a dedicated assigned ORPP personnel designated in teams with support of security and contracted personnel. They worked through the period beyond working hours and spared their weekend and holidays to process increased numbers especially in the last two weeks to the deadline. A dedicated service was designated at Westlands Primary School hall effectively serve the surging numbers. “We appreciate and acknowledge dedication and sacrifice that we have witnessed including helping out tech-challenged persons to this process: noted an applicant at Westlands Primary hall. Through the process, team assigned were on hand to give daily briefings and resolve in possible means any outstanding concerns. “It is our assurance that all applicants will be processed within stipulated timelines withservice delivery efficiency the ORPP is proud of”, assured Assistant Registrar, Ali Surraw on his visit to assess progress at Westlands primary hall.
In amendment to the Political Parties Act, 2011, in section 34 (fa,fb) mandates the Registrar to ; certify that an independent candidate in an election is not a member of any political party and the symbol intend ended to be used by the candidate does not resemble the symbol of a registered political party. This is further anchored in Article 85 of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 and Elections Act, 2011 prescribing the eligibility to stand as an independent candidate including not being a member of a registered political party at least 3 months immediately before the date of election.On clearance, persons were required to present submitted of the certified symbol and letter of intent to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) for approval and eventual gazettement of successful names and symbols by 9th May, 2022.
Applications for clearance as independent candidates began in February 2022 initially with manual application before the roll-out an online self service web-based system pegged on the Integrated Political Parties Management System (IPPMS, that was accessible till deadline through a portal: https://ippms.orpp.or.ke . The online application platform contained features such as user registration, digital or online invoicing, online payment through M-Pesa, short message service (SMS) status notification to the applicant on each stage and interim clearance certificate on processing.
“We developed the independent candidates self service system to effectively manage the process and of the numbers we anticipated to e high from the start. The system also ensures that the process is professional, fair, and legitimate. Once they complete the registration in the portal, the system verifies and generates a certificate which we sign and give them,” said Ms Nderitu in a media interview with a local television at the close of the exercise.
To improve the process, the assigned team collated valuable feedback from the applicants and stakeholders including staff and neighbouring community. The exercise report will also be consolidated as a record to the momentous exercise as well as inform policy and administrative interventions in Office subsequent interventions on the subject.