By David Odongo
The party says it believes that all eligible Kenyans have the right to participate in elections as candidates without undue hindrances.
“Financial ability is not a constitutional requirement for eligibility for nomination as an electoral candidate.” Party chairman Mwalimu Mati said in a press statement.
Independent Boundaries and Electoral Commission (IEBC) has proposed nomination charges of Sh1 million (presidential candidates), Sh500, 000 (Senate, governor and women representative candidates), Sh250, 000 (National Assembly candidates), and Sh50, 000 for County Assembly candidates.
“Safina notes that Kenyan taxpayers have already provided the IEBC with billions of shillings to conduct elections. It is wrong for the IEBC to require candidates to pay prohibitive nomination fees, as have been proposed in draft regulations now under consideration.” Mati said.
The official argued that the IEBC has sufficient funds to receive and process nomination papers. Therefore, proposed nomination fees are designed only to discourage poor Kenyans from offering themselves to serve the people in elected offices while making excessive appropriations-in-aid for the already well-financed IEBC.
The party warned that as soon as the IEBC nomination fees are officially published it will challenge them before the Constitutional Court on grounds that the charges are discriminatory and unconstitutional.
In a bid to practice what it is preaching, the party will waive nomination fees for Women, Youth [under 35 years] and persons with disabilities seeking to run for positions on its ticket.
Said Mati: “All Kenyans deserve a chance to put themselves before the people for election, and what is important is the content of their character and leadership ability not their financial means.”
The party has invited individuals seeking tickets to a consultative meeting on Wednesday at its head office along Amboseli Road in Lavington.