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Friday, July 28, 2017

Violent parties risk no funds, de-registration, registrar warns

Registrar of Political Parties Lucy Ndung'u. /FILE
Registrar of Political Parties Lucy Ndung'u. /FILE

Political parties that will not maintain peace during nominations risk de-registration, Registrar of Political Parties Lucy Ndungu has said.

Ndung'u said on Wednesday that the trend of violence as witnessed in the past will not be tolerated.

"My office will impose appropriate sanctions as mandated by the Elections Act. This includes a formal warning, suspension of registration of the party, withholding of funds and de-registration," she said.

In a statement to newsrooms, Ndung'u said parties must ensure the process is transparent, peaceful and lawful.

She said her office had every reason to believe intra-party wrangles were on the increase and were turning violent.

"My office directs parties to resolve their differences harmoniously using internal dispute resolution mechanisms as stipulated in their respective laws," she said.

Ndung'u said the office will monitor compliance with the code of conduct for political parties during the upcoming primaries.

"All secretary generals are directed to ensure their parties do not engage in or encourage violence by its members or supporters and do not obstruct, disrupt, break or in any other way whatsoever interfere with a meeting, rally or demonstration of another political party or its leadership," she said.

Read: ODM opposes IEBC involvement in Jubilee party primaries on constitutional grounds

The Registrar said her office will further monitor any party that will establish or maintain a para-military force, militia or similar organisations, or those with links to such organisations.

"It is important to underscore that democracy can only strive in a peaceful environment during party primaries. My office endeavours to work with all stakeholders to promote peaceful nominations and adherence to the rule of law," she said.

Political parties will conduct their party primaries this month. IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati in February said that this was in accordance with Election Laws Amendment Act, 2016 and the Election Laws Amendment Act, 2017.

Chebukati said political parties have 14 days between February 20 to March 2 to submit party nomination rules to the electoral commission.

Between March 9 and March 19, the parties will have 10 days to submit party membership list.

He said IEBC will gazette all candidates and dates for primaries between March 30 and April 12.

"The parties will then have 14 days between April 13 and 26 to conduct their primaries after which dispute resolution by the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal will be conducted in 30 days between April 20 and May 19," he said.

Read more: Party primaries slotted for April as IEBC reviews timelines ahead of polls


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