President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday, January 27, signed the recently the Political Parties (Amendment) Bill 2021 into law, paving the way for registration of Azimio la Umoja as a coalition ahead of the August 9 elections.
This came just hours after the Bill was passed by the Senate on the night of Wednesday, January 26, after President Uhuru and Raila Odinga’s allies trounced Deputy President William Ruto‘s allies in voting for the Bill.
Unlike now where the presidential candidate has to vie on one of the coalition’s affiliate party ticket, the new law will make it possible for a presidential candidate to vie on a said coalition’s ticket for instance Raila Odinga may vie on the Azimio la Umoja ticket if it is registered as a coalition before the August 2022 presidential election.
The new law also allows aspirants for various seats to vie either on their coalition’s ticket or tickets of parties forming the coalition.
This gives room for aspirants to battle it out for various seats without the fear of being rigged out during party primaries.
This is a blow to the deputy president who was against creating coalitions in favour of one big political party.
At one point, Ruto asked smaller parties to fold and join UDA and transform into a big national party, a move that scared many for fear of being locked out during party primaries.
But the new law now gives room for Azimio la Umoja team led by President Uhuru Kenyatta and his handshake partner Raila Odinga to bring onboard as many partners as possible and create a Narc like super coalition which is expected to give William Ruto a run for his money.
It also reduces the timeline required to form a coalition from 6 months before a General Election to 4 months prior to the polls.
Apart from introducing the concept of coalition political parties, the new law also empowers the Registrar of Political Parties to certify political party membership lists and nomination rules among other transformative provisions aimed at strengthening management of political parties and enhancing democracy.