UDA postpones West Pokot polls fearing violence

United Democratic Alliance (UDA) elections board has postponed constituency-level elections in West Pokot County.

National Elections Board (NEB) chairman Anthony Mwaura told the Nation that the exercise was postponed because of reports of possible violence.

Mr Mwaura said the party had received information that some political players in the county were planning to disrupt the exercise by causing chaos.

“We have postponed the elections to next week Saturday. We have also agreed that the elections would be held at sub-county commissioner headquarters for security reasons. Elections in the Starehe constituency in Nairobi have also been postponed to Saturday as a result of violence witnessed earlier in the day.

The postponement of the West Pokot polls comes hours after the party made conflicting statements about the status of the exercise.

UDA Secretary General Cleophas Malala had earlier issued a statement postponing the exercise.

But the announcement was immediately contradicted by Mr Mwaura. Mr Mwaura had insisted that the elections would go ahead as planned in all the five counties of Nairobi, West Pokot, Narok, Busia and Homa Bay.

He accused Mr Malala of trying to usurp the board’s powers. He cited a ruling by the Political Parties and Disputes Tribunal that barred Mr Malala from the party elections.

National Elections Board

“Reference is made to a notice by the acting Secretary General purporting to postpone the ongoing elections in West Pokot County. Article 21 of the UDA constitution establishes the National Elections Board as an independent organ of the Party that must act independent of any direction from anybody or any party organ,” said Mr Mwaura.

“Resultantly, any notice purporting to address election matters is unlawful, without basis and is therefore null and void. The UDA party will carry on with all the Constituency level elections scheduled to take place tomorrow the 31/5/2024, in compliance with the earlier notice,” said Mr Mwaura.

Mr Mwaura had cited a decision by the party’s Electoral and Nomination Disputes Resolution Committee (ENDRC) to postpone the exercise.

“In adherence to the UDA Party constitution and to respect the integrity of the party’s organs we hereby postpone the planned constituency elections in the affected constituencies to a later date that will be communicated by the National Elections Board,” said Mr Malala.

But in another twist, ENDRC deputy chairperson Adrian Kamotho said the ruling Mr Malala was relying on was fake and did not come from the committee.

“Our attention is drawn to a public notice issued by the acting Secretary General of the UDA party purporting to reference an Order of the Electoral and Nomination Disputes Resolution Committee (ENDRC). The referenced Order is FAKE and the same did not emanate from the ENDRC,” said Mr Kamotho.

Mr Malala has been at loggerheads with the electoral body amid reports of attempts to disrupt the elections.

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