A total of 12,748 individuals have asked 18 parties to nominate them for election as Member of the County Assembly in the August 8 General Election, according to lists of aspirants published by the electoral commission.
Three quarters of the 9,654 aspirants are from the ruling Jubilee Party and the opposition Orange Democratic Movement, underlining their place as the two most dominant parties.
The parties are headed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, respectively, who faced off in the last General Election.
At 6,568 aspirants, Jubilee has more than double the number seeking the ODM ticket, 3,086, but it must be noted that the President’s party was formed out of the merger of 11 parties.
The party also has 1,120 contestants for the 384 parliamentary seats, the highest in the country, with ODM second at 538.
Jubilee appears to bear a huge logistical burden with its decision to hold its primaries across the country on the same day, Friday, considering the large number of MCA aspirants.
ODM’s partners in the National Super Alliance (Nasa) — the Amani National Congress (ANC) (829), Wiper Democratic Movement (820) and Ford-Kenya (483) — round off the top five for MCA aspirants.
The total number of aspirants for the county seats are far less than the 20,000 predicted by Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati last month.
It is also evident that the Independence party Kanu was missing from the list of aspirants published by the IEBC late last week.
The number of independent candidates is also yet to be established.
The stature of MCAs has grown because of the realisation that they oversee the spending of billions of shillings by the county government under the governor, earn an average Sh250,000 monthly salary in addition to allowances and do a lot of travelling.
They also have a Sh2 million car loan, Sh3 million mortgage and mileage allowance.
In 2015/16, MCAs in the 47 counties gobbled up Sh2.82 billion in sitting allowances.
The number of MCA candidates could go down significantly, however, as some aspirants will give up when they lose in the nominations.
In Eastleigh South Ward, Nairobi, for example, there are 14 aspirants seeking the ODM ticket while Lower Savannah has 17 and South C 20.
There are 1,450 wards, meaning the ambitions of some 11,298 aspirants will die either in the nominations or on August 8.
The nascent Maendeleo Chap Chap party, Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua’s re-election vehicle, appears to have gained popularity quite fast; it has 458 MCA aspirants.
Another relatively young party, Chama Cha Mashinani, also has a significant number of aspirants at 188.
Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto formed the party after he broke away from the Jubilee coalition.
The other parties are: Kadu-Asili with 33, KNC (19), CCU (16), Narc-K (14), LPK (11), Vibrant (6), SDP (5) and Citizens with 2.