16,000 aspirants vie for positions in Kenya's August polls

Tuesday May 16 2017

Campaign posters. A total of 1,470 people are seeking the 290 posts of the MP compared to 2,098 in 2013. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Campaign posters. A total of 1,470 people are seeking the 290 posts of the MP compared to 2,098 in 2013. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

By PATRICK LANG'AT

A total of 16,259 Kenyans will compete for the 1,882 positions in the August General Election, in a high-stakes polls that will churn out the country’s highest number of losers.

The 2017 candidate count is an increase of 3,483 from the 12,776 that expressed interest in the various seats in the March 4, 2013 elections.

The final figure will be known after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) reviews the list of 4,950 independent candidates.

The number, however, falls way below the IEBC’s forecast of 40,000 candidates.

Member of County Assembly (MCA) seat has attracted the most candidates. About 9,133 candidates aspire to be MCAs on party tickets while 2,000 will run as independents.

“The commission will have to have longer ballot papers with the increased number of candidates. When we procure, we provide dimensions for how the ballot will be,” said IEBC chief executive Ezra Chiloba earlier, adding that the longer ballots will mean longer time taken by a voter in a polling booth.

Eight people, including President Uhuru Kenyatta of Jubilee and ODM’s Raila Odinga, have been fronted by political candidates to contest for the State House job.

Ten others will contest for the seat as independents, bringing the total to 18, the highest in post-multiparty Kenya.

Eight people sought the Presidency in 2013, down from nine in 2007, five in 2002, and 15 in 1997. About 180 people will gun for the 47 positions of governors, down from 237 in 2013.

For the 47 Women Representative seats, 260 women have been nominated by various political parties to vie for the seats, also a drop from the 2013 figure of 303.

A total of 1,470 people are seeking the 290 posts of the MP compared to 2,098 in 2013.