Thursday, February 7, 2013

Lessons from Party Primaries: The Good, the Bad and the Unexpected

The party primaries came and passed. Now that calm has returned there are some lessons we can draw from the fiascos of party primaries;
·     We need a public holiday to conduct party primaries
The state should give a holiday for the electorate to participate in this exercise. We saw a good number of good candidates loose the party primaries because the so called middle class we at work and the aspirants with street swag we’re able to mobilize support.
·     IEBC needs to conduct the Party Primaries
Most of the party primaries we’re done in haphazard manner. In some cases there we’re delays of days because the election materials we’re not in polling stations on time.
·      Party Boys will always be Party Boys
We witnessed broad day light rigging in some regions. Especially in ODM and TNA zones where primaries are as good as elections. Some of the areas where there were question marks were Nyanza and Central Province. In the lead up to the election days we might be witnessing new voting patterns is this dissent we witnessed was quelled by party organs that rigged in the party boys
·       The Fall Out in Nyanza Province
Some commentators have gone as far as calling it a Luo Spring. How this shapes up is yet to be fully seen but in an area like Nyanza Province where the Prime Minister has commanded a spell over might be finally coming to an end.
We witnessed a good number of Odinga’s vying and the electorate refusing them. The era of an insightful voter is coming to the being and this can be attributed to;
1.       High literacy levels in these areas
2.       Technology especially mobile penetration
3.       Access to information through local radio station
The fall out was not exclusive to Nyanza because we witnessed a fall out in Othaya [President Kibaki’s backyard] where Mary Wambui and Gichuki battled it out and we witnessed some drama.
·       Get bloggers party to cover your opponents Primaries and ‘expose’ short comings
During the primary exercise we witnessed some bloggers who we know their party affiliation all of a sudden move to their opponents regions to cover the primaries. The idea here was to report as much filth as possible on nomination exercise of their opponents. In so doing they painted a bad picture of their opponent’s primary exercise.

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