Jubilee primaries kick off amid delays

By Rose Welimo

Jubilee Party primaries have kicked off in some areas across the country while the exercise has been delayed in most counties due late arrival of ballot material, insufficient ballot papers and voter protests.

Delays have been reported in Uasin Gishu, Igembe and Murang’a. In Nakuru, voting has not started because ballot material has not arrived at the different polling stations.

In a statement by the Jubilee Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju, electoral materials have been delivered to all participating constituencies and that the party had made sufficient provisions to enable all voters exercise their democratic right.

“We wish to state that all primaries will proceed as scheduled and we urge all voter to adhere to guidelines provided by the party headquarters,” the statement added.

The party pushed its nominations for Nairobi County to Monday 24th next week due to concerns from the Muslim community.

The nominations had been slated for Friday 21st, a day that Muslim faithful go to mosques for their prayers.

The party’s National Elections Board Chairman, Andrew Musangi, had earlier announced that the party will hold its first primaries on Friday, April 21 in 23 counties, while the remaining 21 counties will hold their primaries on Tuesday, April 25.

Initially, Jubilee intended to hold nominations in only 33 counties, but now says competitive counties have increased to 45.

“Kisumu and Siaya are the the only counties that will not have nominations because we have solitary candidates there. Where there is no competition, there is no need for the primaries.”

Musangi also said the board has hired 12,000 returning officers to carry out the exercise, and will use the party’s register which will be backed up by the IEBC register used in the 2013 polls.

He says all the winners in the primaries will be gazetted after the exercise.

Friday’s nominations are being conducted in Kirinyaga, Elgeyo Marakwet, Meru, Usian Gishu, Baringo, Bomet, Laikipia, Murang’a, Tharaka Nithi, Kiambu, Nyandarua, Embu, Kericho, West Pokot, Nandi, Nakuru, Nyeri, Kajiado, Narok, Trans Nzoia and Taita Taveta.