Parties to conduct virtual primaries

Rival factions in various political parties could face off early next year, as new rules allowing virtual elections take effect.

On Monday, Registrar of Political Parties Ann Nderitu said there were plans to implement a new set of regulations that would allow political parties to continue with their statutory activities.

The new rules would allow parties to hold virtual National Delegates Conference (NDC), National Governing Council (NGC) and National Executive Council (NEC) meetings.

The move implies that political parties that put off their party primaries because of Covid-19 would be compelled to carry out party primaries.

Nderitu said some political parties had resorted to using the pandemic as an excuse not to comply with the requirements of running party activities.

Statutory meetings

“We are looking into ways where NDC and NEC meetings done virtually are recognised, so that statutory meetings that make parties compliant can go on,” said Nderitu.

“In January next year, we shall be engaging political parties on holding statutory meetings online. We shall agree on what constitutes a valid meeting for NDC and NEC so that we don’t have parties telling us that ‘we shall comply after Covid-19′.”

She was speaking during the launch of protocols on Covid-19 and the conduct of political parties by the Centre for Multiparty Democracy.

The ruling Jubilee Party has been rocked by wrangles pitting allies of President Uhuru Kenyatta against backers of Deputy President William Ruto.

Ruto’s side has been pushing for elections of party officials after the term of the current office bearers elapsed. But the party has been citing the Covid-19 pandemic as a reason for not holding the elections.

There are similar wrangles in Ford Kenya following an attempt to topple party leader Moses Wetangúla.

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