Emergence Of The Third Force in Kenyan Politics

Wafula Chebukati-IEBC Chair

  The emergence of Independent Candidates as the third powerful force in Kenya’s National politics cannot be under-estimated as its consequences are most likely going to send reverberations across the political divide.

The fact remains that Jubilee and the National Super Alliance (NASA) outfits whichever way they emerge from the 2017 general elections – they are the ones which are going to feel the full force of this force after the forth coming general elections.

The emergence of this force is a direct result of the total failure of political parties in the country conducting free and fair democratic elections in their primaries that were extremely chaotic, riddled corruption, tribalism, nepotism, bribery and outright blatant favoritism.

Indeed there is virtually no political party or coalition that can lay claim to have conducted its just concluded party primaries in a free, fair, democratic and corruption free incidences like it is done in most developed democracies across the world.

  It goes without saying that there thousands of cases where aspirants cried foul not only within the political parties considered the giants of Kenyan politics like the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), Jubilee, the Amani National Congress (ANC), Wiper Party, Ford Kenya, the Democratic Party and many others.

The National Elections Tribunal handled many of these thousands, including the high courts, the ineffective political parties’ internal dispute resolution mechanisms name them, but it’s because these massive failures that for the first time in the country’s history the powerful third force of the independent candidates has emerged.

Indeed this option was clearly entrenched in the Constitution of the Republic of Kenya 2010. In this constitution there is a clear Constitutional and Electoral provision for Independent Candidates.

It therefore follows that after being denied their democratic and constitutional rights during the messed primaries, the constitution and the electoral laws of the country offered them an alternative where they could go to fight out at the general elections supervised by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

This would enable them to seek leadership positions directly from the electorate not restricted to mere political party members or the crude manipulations of the political parties’ leaderships and brokers who were out to make a killing from the exercise.

Therefore the same leadership has no moral right to criticize the emergence of this third force of independent candidates who may yet to be another extremely powerful force to reckon with in the National Assembly, the Senate and the County Assemblies across the country.

It is perhaps from this realization that some political party leaders are already feeling very jittery about this force, which in essence will be financing their own campaigns without getting financial support from any political party in an exercise that has become the most expensive on the continent of Africa.

  However, these leaders’ fears and contradiction are of no consequence since they have no legal or moral standing to stop the avalanche that has erupted with this development and is most likely to rock the country’s politicking for decades to come.

What remains to be seen is the impact they are going to have in crafting and passing legislation right from the Senate through the National Assembly, all the way to the County Assemblies across the country where political parties over the decades have been holding monopolistic strangleholds.

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