By Wesley Langat, Internews in Kenya.
Pundits have partially blamed the chaos that marred the political party primaries recently on the failure of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to strictly enforce the electoral code of conduct.
The guidelines are meant to regulate political parties and their activities during the campaigns period. “In every election, all candidates and all political parties shall comply with the code of conduct prescribed by the IEBC ,” states Article 84 of the Constitution .
While receiving nomination papers from presidential candidates, the commission made it mandatory for every candidate to sign the code of conduct.
Commissioner Thomas Letangule emphasized the need for full enforcement of the law. “The code of conduct binds political parties, candidates media and all players in political process, it specifies what needs to be done,” he said.
IEBC Manager legal Affairs Dr Mohammed Jabane says there are penalties for anyone who breaches the law. “It’s not just a wish list of good manners, it also has teeth, as IEBC we have a committee for the enforcement of the electoral code of conduct. This committee is active,” he said.