The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) through its chair Wafula Chebukati has clarified that Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) wishing to contest in the August elections as Members of Parliament should not resign by Wednesday.
“The Commission wishes to clarify that, according to Article 99 (2)(d) of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 as read together with Section 43 (5)and (6) of the Elections Act, MCAs who wish to contest as Members of Parliament should not resign by 9th February 2022,” the statement read in part.
IEBC issued the statement on Wednesday and said such MCAs are only required to quit before submission of their nomination paper to the Returning Officers ahead of the August elections.
“…but should resign before submitting their nomination papers to the Returning Officers to contest as a Member of Parliament,” the statement continued.
According to IEBC, the issue of disqualification of sitting MCAs from being elected as MPs on allegations that they should resign by Wednesday has drawn public debate which drew the commission's attention, forcing it to give directions.
“The attention of the Commission has been drawn to the public debate on the issue of disqualification of a sitting Member of a County Assembly (MCA) from being elected as a Member of Parliament (MP) on allegations that they need to resign by the 9th of February 2022,” said IEBC
IEBC’s statement contradicts Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi’s warning to MCAs seeking election in higher seats in the coming elections to resign by Wednesday or risk losing the chance to contest in the elections.
“I am just taking the liberty to advise the Democratic Party National Executive Council that under Article 99, Clause 2, Paragraph D of the Constitution, a sitting member of the County Assembly must resign six months to the election date, which is tomorrow, February 9 for the August 9 General Election,” Muturi said.
Muturi issued the statement on Tuesday and further warned MCAs wishing to vie for the higher seats on his party, the Democratic Party’s ticket will only be cleared after resigning within the required time.