Skip to main content
Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Rise of the independents could end old school political parties’ dominance

Aspirants outside the lion place building trying to get a shade from the rains while waiting to register as independent candidates./ victor imboto
Aspirants outside the lion place building trying to get a shade from the rains while waiting to register as independent candidates./ victor imboto

Almost 5,000 independent candidates, an unprecedented number in a Kenyan general election, will run on August 8. And the possibilities of a surprising number of them being elected are high.

There could well be many upset results in the races for Parliament, Senate and MCA positions.

Kenya needs to accommodate independents, including in the East African Legislative Assembly, where only the parties make nominations at present.

The framers of the Constitution of 2010 had great foresight in creating room for independents, but Kenyans have only slowly woken up to the fact.

The rise of the independents of the 12th General Election has far-reaching implications for the future of political parties in this country, which have for far too long been rigid and exclusionist organisations.

The independents are not making their move in a vacuum. Even in a world power like France, President Emmanuel Macron, 39, entered the scene and sent institutional old parties home.

Who knows, a disruptive independent could well enter the equation of the 2022 Uhuru – or Raila – transition.


Thank you for participating in discussions on The Star, Kenya. Note that:
  • Unwarranted personal abuse and defamatory statements will be deleted.
  • Strong personal criticism is acceptable if justified by facts and arguments.
  • Deviation from points of discussion may lead to deletion of comments.
Poll of the day