September 26, 2022

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Battle for 2022 race as political Parties woe aspirants with direct tickets

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Just as in 2017, political parties in Kenya will have to decide on whether to subject their staunch supporters into hectic nomination exercises or issue them with direct tickets.

ODM and Jubilee parties were accused of issuing direct ticket to candidates that they thought were popular.

For instance, Kikuyu member of Parliament Kimani Ichungwa was issued with direct ticket in 2017 as their other contenders were allegedly convinced to support his second bid.

Political analysts argue that the straight-ticket voting could cut turnout in down-ballot races in the 2022 elections — even if more voters show up to the polls.

The argue that elections begin in familiar ways: ads are launched, party leaders travel across the country, and political pundits are set loose on the airwaves. But what receives far less attention are candidate nomination processes. Candidate selection practices are fraught with problems – backroom handling, infighting, shunning grassroots members and parachuting in candidates, to name a few.

About two weeks ago, a storm brewed within the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), pitting incumbents and aspirants eyeing the same seats ahead of the 2022 General Election.

The deputy president William Ruto who is party leader for UDA had endorsed Murang’a senator Irungu Kang’ata as best candidate to succeed Mwangi Wa Iria.

In his speech, the DP also appeared to endorse lawyer Edward Muriu as his favourite candidate for the Gatanga parliamentary seat.

Following an uproar that saw some aspirants threaten to defect from the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), Deputy President William Ruto revoked senator Irungu Kang’ata’s endorsement for the Murang’a gubernatorial seat.

Candidate selection is the process by which political parties decide who will be on the ballot paper as their recommended candidate(s).

The way in which they make that choice is mainly determined by their own internal rules and procedures. 

Political parties therefore act as useful and necessary gate-keepers narrowing down the list of candidates to a small enough pool.

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