A total of 47 individuals have been cleared to contest for the country’s presidency as independent candidates in the August General Election.
According to Registrar of Political Parties Ann Nderitu, there is an overall upsurge in the number of independent candidates in this year’s polls, with 7,111 candidates expected to contest for various seats come August 9.
Nderitu has attributed the increase to heightened political awareness among the candidates in comparison to the 2017 polls.
“The increase is mostly because of awareness as compared to previous polls. A majority of them did not participate in the party primaries; they started applying before the primaries,” she said.
With some of the independent candidates being former political party members who lost in the nominations, the parties have come out to assure that they will work hard to ensure that the defectors do not threaten their support bases.
“We are not going to allow independent candidates to eat into our support base; we will campaign very viciously against them because they have basically defied the management of political parties in this country,” Jubilee Secretary-General Jeremiah Kioni said on Sunday.
“Their decision to run as independent shows they are defiant and do not want to be answerable to anybody. There will be more independent candidates running in the polls but very few are likely to make it,” he added.
The presidential aspirants, alongside flag-bearers fielded by various political parties, will, if cleared to run by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), form the longest presidential ballot paper yet since 1992’s multi-party elections.
Of the 7,111, 104 are seeking the governor seat while 141 have been cleared to run for senator. Another 110 will in the meantime be contesting for the woman representative position and 944 seeking MP seats.
The number of candidates running for the MCA seats independently is at 5,765.