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Monday, May 23, 2022

IEBC sends warning shot to political parties, candidates

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati in Naivasha, Nakuru County. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Political parties, candidates, and independent candidates contesting in the August 9 General Election risk hefty fines and penalties if they contravene the Electoral Code of Conduct.

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chair Wafula Chebukati, in a statement Friday, warned politicians to avoid using hate speech or utterances that may spur violence, failure to which, the electoral agency will institute a fine.

“A party that defaults in payment of a fine may be prohibited by the Commission from participating in the 2022 General Election or future elections until the fine is paid,” Chebukati said.

Some of the obligations contenders are required to bind with include:

  • Refraining from actions that may cause or involve violence and intimidation
  • Refrain from campaigning in places of worship or during burials
  • Avoid plagiarizing symbols, colours, or acronyms of other parties
  • Discourage and prevent removal or destruction of political campaign materials of any party
  • Refrain from offering any document or reward in order to influence one’s political decision and
  • Refrain from abuse of position of power, privilege, or influence

Chebukati said any party or candidate in violation of the above will face a formal warning or part with a fine determined by IEBC.

“The Commission can equally file proceedings in the High Court to enforce the recovery of the fine.  In case of failure to comply with any other sanction imposed, the Commission may cancel the right of the political party or candidate in question to participate in the next election.”

The warning shot follows after the gazettement of August 9 as the date of the General Election, with campaigns set to start on May 29 and end on August 6. 

 

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