The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has been approving candidates for various political seats in the August 9th General Elections around the county.
Some of the contenders, from the presidency to members of the County Assembly, were not approved to run in the much-anticipated 2022 elections, resulting in dramatic scenes.
For example, the Wafula Chebukati-led committee barred all independent presidential candidates for a variety of reasons, including a lack of signatures from across the country. On Tuesday, the commission approved an Italian-born muzungu to run for the Kilifi gubernatorial seat in the upcoming General Election.
A foreigner seeking a governor seat in Kenya must have been a Kenyan citizen for at least 10 years, not owe allegiance to a foreign state, and hold a degree from a recognized institution, according to the Kenyan Constitution.
The candidate cannot have dual citizenship unless the other country’s citizenship was earned by law without the ability to opt out.
Franco Esposito, 81, of Magarini’s Giriama settlement, known as Kasoso Baya, will run for the seat as an independent candidate.
After leaving the Kadu Asili party for denying him a ticket, the former member said he decided to run as an independent candidate.
He will likely be pitted against Lamu MP Aisha Jumwa of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) and ODM’s Gideon Mung’aro.
Other candidates include George Kithi, who is standing for Governor of Kilifi County with the Pamoja African Alliance (PAA), which is linked to outgoing Governor Amason Kingi.
Esposito failed miserably.