By Moses Njagih
Outrage deepened over the proposed fee announced by IEBC, ranging from Sh50,000 for the lowest elective seat on offer next year, to Sh1million, as it became clear Parliament — which is an interested party — would use its position to shoot down or slash this fee.
The proposals have thrust IEBC into yet another storm, hot on the heels of a recent controversy sparked by the bungled procurement of electronic voter registration equipment, and eventually yielding to local and international pressure to go back to Biometric Voter Register.
Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee Chairman Abdikadir Mohammed vowed Parliament will “stand up” for those without the financial capacity to meet the “outrageous” proposals.
“The right to present oneself for election should not be subjected to conditions, worse still on their financial capacity. That is not the intention of the Constitution. Kenyans are very disappointed that a commission of the stature of IEBC can come up with this,” Abdikadir said.
Acting Chairman of Parliament’s Justice and Legal Affairs Committee Njoroge Baiya cautioned IEBC against actions that would portray it as defeating the democratic process.
“The proposals defeat the objective of a democratic system, which should allow as many Kenyans as possible to contest, not letting the wealthy compete against themselves. These are unreasonable conditions,” declared Baiya.
Preserve for the rich
Justice Minister Eugene Wamalwa, who will table the guidelines since his is the line ministry, also trashed the proposals.
“We should not make democracy expensive. The issue, however, is developing a proposal that will be discussed in Parliament,” said Wamalwa.
Presidential aspirant Peter Kenneth charged the electoral body should not be in the business of making profits adding the figures were not affordable and could easily turn the electoral positions into a preserve for the rich.