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How Kenya political parties will share polls cash

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Details of how the three main political parties — TNA, ODM and URP — will share Sh205 million became clear Tuesday, a day after a judge dismissed a case by small parties which had been seeking a share of the cash.

TNA will get Sh89.3 million, ODM Sh87.4 million and URP Sh28.2 million.

Although the fund had been allocated Sh2.88 billion — or 0.3 per cent of the national revenue — the National Treasury has only released Sh205 million.

President Kenyatta’s The National Alliance got 21,667,938 votes accounting for 29.74 per cent of the total votes cast while Orange Democratic Movement led by Mr Raila Odinga, was second with 19,032,997 (29.12 per cent). The United Republican Party led by Deputy President William Ruto, was third with 6,843,730 (9.39 per cent) of the votes cast.

Those were the only three parties that qualified for a share of the Political Parties Fund.

Ms Lucy Ndung’u, the Registrar of Political Parties, yesterday said her team was working on how to release the money.

All the other parties that participated in the General Election, will miss out on the public funding.

They include Wiper Democratic Movement of Mr Odinga’s Cord running-mate Kalonzo Musyoka, United Democratic Front whose presidential candidate was Mr Musalia Mudavadi, and Narc-Kenya led by another presidential candidate, Ms Martha Karua.

Also missing out is the former ruling party Kanu led by Mr Gideon Moi, Kenya Social Congress whose presidential candidate was Mr Peter Kenneth, and Ford-Kenya led by Mr Moses Wetang’ula, also of the Cord Coalition.

A party must secure at least five per cent of the total votes cast to qualify for public funding. UDF, whose presidential candidate finished third, only managed 3.96 per cent of the vote.

Small parties, which failed to meet the threshold, had gone to court seeking that coalitions be regarded as parties but Mr Justice David Majanja rejected their plea.

“Now that there is no court order,” Ms Ndung’u said in a telephone interview with the Nation, “we have started the process of releasing the funds to the political parties which qualify.”

In calculating how much money each political party gets, Ms Ndung’u’s team had lumped all the presidential votes for the Jubilee Coalition to TNA and Cord’s figures to ODM.

A total of all the votes garnered by a political party in the six elections were then tallied to give the final figure.

Judge Majanja helped resolve the puzzle of presidential votes garnered by Jubilee and Cord coalitions when he said they would not be factored in the sharing out of the funds. He, however, said that in future, Parliament can amend the Political Parties Act to come up with a formula which would allow coalitions to draw money from the parties’ fund.

“It is still open to Parliament to review the criteria and formula for funding political parties, including coalitions… in order to benefit more political parties,” he said in his ruling on Monday.

The sharing of the funds will give the three parties a lifeline after months of financial difficulties which arose after some MPs and senators declined to pay their monthly contributions.

-Nation

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