The Jubilee Party has convened an urgent technical committee meeting to salvage the candidature of footballer McDonald Mariga whose nomination for the Kibra mini poll was invalidated by the electoral agency on Tuesday.
Party secretary-general Raphael Tuju Wednesday announced that he had convened a technical team of the party’s National Elections Board (NEB), the appeals tribunal and the directorate of elections to deliberate on the turn of events and offer an advisory of Mr Mariga’s candidature.
Mr Tuju spoke after Mr Mariga lodged his complaint with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) challenging the move by the body to give him a ‘red card’ from the Kibra parliamentary by-election.
Mr Tuju told the Nation the party is aware that their candidate had lodged a formal complaint with the electoral agency’s dispute resolution committee which sits tomorrow for a hearing.
“It is his right to petition the dispute resolution committee of IEBC and as a party we have been enjoined because he is our candidate. I have already convened a technical team to meet Thursday and as soon as we conclude, I shall give the party’s position,” Mr Tuju said.
A source privy to the goings-on hinted that the ruling party “would take serious action against certain officials believed to have been privy to the fact that Mr Mariga’s candidature was bound to be turbulent but went ahead to clear him to fly the party flag. It is so serious that some officials may even face the axe. Watch this space.”
NEB chairman Andrew Musangi however, maintained that they did due diligence before approving Mr Mariga’s candidature.
“By law the register which closes is that of Kibra because a vacancy had been declared. The objective of closing the register is so that you don’t get a flood of voters being imported into a constituency but not to preclude a candidate from running,” Mr Musangi said.
He said Mr Mariga registered as a voter in Starehe.
He said there’s a concerted conspiracy against the party’s candidate, noting that Mr Mariga had “scared our opponents.”
“We are looking forward to a positive outcome from IEBC and if we are not certified as a party we have other options. It is not the end of the matter. We will pursue it to the end,” he added.
Mr Mariga Wednesday lodged a formal complaint with IEBC’s dispute resolution committee.
The former Harambee Stars captain is seeking to overturn Kibra Returning Officer Beatrice Muli’s decision to invalidate his nomination.
He argues that he met all the requirements for nomination.