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Independent candidates lament signatures demand by IEBC

Independent candidates to attach copies of IDs in the signatures they would have collected.

2022 presidential hopeful, Christian apologist and gospel singer Reuben Kigame during a conference in Thika, Kiambu County service on May 3, 2022

Independent candidates vying in the August General Election have lamented a move by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) requiring them to have a set number of signatures from areas they look to represent.

According to the IEBC, those seeking the presidency will be required to collect 48,000 signatures with at least 2,000 from a minimum of 24 counties.

Governors will be expected to submit 5,000 signatures, senators 2,000, members of parliament 1,000 while members of the county assembly aspirants will be required to have 500 signatures.

To validate the signatures, the commission also requires the candidates to have copies of signees' identity cards as proof of consent for the signatures which the independent candidates oppose.

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Esther Thairu the chairperson of the independent candidates’ lobby group described the requirement as discriminatory questioning why the policy was not enforced in previous elections.

“We wish to categorically state that this requirement is discriminatory, untimely, punitive, expensive, intrusive to citizen privacy and requirements are not enforced in previous elections,”

The group says the requirement to have copies of national identification cards is an obstacle as voters have not received any form of civic education regarding the requirement.

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“We are here to ask the IEBC to remove the obstacle of ID collection so that we can proceed with the signature procedure, or if they could sensitize in educating the people of Kenya that this is an election process and that we would collect their photocopies of IDs,” Reuben Kigame an independent presidential candidate said.

The candidates also said the signature requirement was not imposed during the collection of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) signatures adding that without change of the requirement the candidates will conclude that the IEBC is leaning towards a certain direction.

The number of independent candidates for the presidency is 47, 107 for governor, 151 for Senate, 112 for woman representative, 973 for MP, and 5,902 for MCA seat.

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