Nairobi: A record forty-six presidential candidates are among over 7,000 cleared to vie in the August 9 General Elections in Kenya. Registrar of Political Parties Ann Nderitu confirmed the number, to be the highest ever recorded to contest Kenya's top seat. The presidential candidates cleared include perennial contestants Nazlin Omar, Nixon Kukubo, Muthiora Kariara who vied in 2017.
New entrants include gospel artiste Reuben Kigame, former Presbyterian Church of East Africa Moderator David Githii and Grita Muthoni. The independent aspirants include 106 governors, 147 senators, 110 women Reps, 958 members of the National Assembly and 5,845 members of the County Assembly.
They join the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), led by the Deputy President William Ruto, and Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) who were the first to kick off its primaries on 1 April. President Kenyatta can no longer stand for re-election after two terms, but his deputy William Ruto is resenting him for backing Raila Odinga, a former prime minister instead of him.
The east African nations recent history features hotly contested, sometimes violent elections in which candidates and their allies have used tribal politics to turn people against one another.
The last time Kenyatta and Ruto were on opposing sides of an election, in 2007 and 2008, the country was plagued by violence, and they ended up on trial in the international criminal court (ICC). Their case would later be dismissed.