With the August General Elections fast approaching, political outfits are rushing to conduct nominations in a bid to identify qualified candidates who will hoist their party tickets and compete for elective seats at the polls.
The nomination process can be conducted via consensus, ballot nominations and universal suffrage, but many aspirants are seeking direct nomination tickets from their respective parties, which will give them a clear path to the seats they desire.
Though the process, on paper, appears easy and straightforward, a number of politicians and their supporters have questioned how exactly their parties determine candidates who qualify to receive direct nomination tickets.
According to ODM National Chair John Mbadi, in the event that the Raila Odinga-led party offers direct nominations to candidates, it does not do so haphazardly but instead follows a stipulated methodology.
“In order to get to consensus, the party first conducts at least two scientific polls and based on that there is the rule of thumb. The margin we have been given is plus or minus three per cent but we were told 6 per cent and above should be enough,” he said.
“As a rule of thumb, we said if the first and second candidates are separated by 10 per cent, we subject you to universal suffrage. If it is 10 per cent and above then we start process of consensus building and possibly the issuance of direct tickets, and this is going on.”
Mbadi was speaking on Citizen TV’s NewsNight show on Tuesday alongside Wiper’s National Elections Board (NEB) Chair Agatha Solitei and UDA Secretary General Veronica Maina.
Ms. Maina shared the same sentiments as Mbadi, noting that because a direct nomination guarantees a free ticket to any elective seat, the process is done in a seamless manner.
She stated that the party boss and secretariat work hand-in-hand to determine the most suitable candidates to be issued the direct tickets.
“Once a ticket is given to a candidate, it is a direct path to any elective seat. The party leader helps a lot when it comes to consensus and building bridges among members and ensuring there is cohesion in UDA,” she said.
“You will however not find him registering any aspirant, this is done by the secretariat. We do not conduct any interviews, but we do hold consensus discussions before considering direct nominations.”
On her part, Wiper NEB chair Solitei stated that applicants interested in the nomination process have been applying for the same through a designated platform dubbed, the WINs portal, following advertisements by the Kalonzo Musyoka-led party.
Wiper party, Solitei said, first of all advocates for consensus talks among aspirants which will likely see some shelve their political ambitions in favour of others.
When consensus fails, she added, then the party takes the nomination route.
“By the time we a reach a consensus, that person has to have agreed that they will not go ahead and participate in the primaries. There are many positions in the party they can be offered if they decide to drop their bids,” she said.