I once said this year’s elections will be the toughest in Kenya’s history and also counted up to 18 political parties but mine was not anywhere near the number of registered political parties in Kenya, which I think are over 200.
According to ECK list 108 parties have sponsored candidates to vie for parliamentary seats, 117 parties have sponsored civic candidates. I think the number contestants of civic and parliamentary seats in the coming elections is the highest ever in Kenya. Imagine nearly 2600 candidate to fight it out for only 210 parliamentary seats. That’s means an average of 12 candidates per constituency but in real sense there are as many as 33 candidates in Kitutu Masaba constituency in Nyanza and over 20 candidates in other constituencies. I imagine how that ballot paper will look like, may be a 3 column one will do.
The other issue that I took note of is the number of female candidates in this year’s elections. We have been making a lot of noise about women being the majority in Kenya, we should elect more women, affirmative action for women etc…. but only end up with 269 female candidates out of nearly 2600 for parliamentary seats, it is said this is the largest number of female candidates ever, but is only 10% of the total candidates. At least there are a good number of women for the civic seats 1478.
Women still need to wake up and believe in ourselves, most of us think we are inferior (when will we stop the attitude of who will elect me, I will be beaten up by men opponents, it is for a certain class of women, women are not capable of leading etc…) and instead go to civic seats. Nothing can be done now may be only vote for more women who are good leaders, then change our attitude and the situation in 2012.
The number of parliamentary candidates for every party shows ODM is leading with the highest number of seats at 190, followed by Kenda (unbelievable) one would have expected PNU to follow but they are third with 135 candidates, Kenda also has a higher number compared to 133 of ODM-K which is considered amongst the 3 main political parties in this elections.
Parties in this race have very interesting names, I only took note of these three that have the same initial CCU, which stands for Chama Cha Uma, Chama Cha Uzalendo and Chama Cha Utu, can be very confusing.
With the many contestants per constituency in this race, the race will be tougher than past elections. Though the parties are many there are only 9 Presidential candidates, only 3 are considered strong. I think we will get surprises in the elections from the civic and parliamentary seats, because I don't think many will got for 3 piece like the previous election.