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IEBC & Kenya Elections Candidates Requirements

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Kenyans abroad looking forward to vote at meeting in New York  - Pic/Files Kenyans abroad looking forward to vote at meeting in New York - Pic/Files

The Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission IEBC through the constitution is expected to plan for Elections in which about 20 million Kenyans in Kenya and about 3 million Kenyans living abroad could vote. Based on past campaigns it is estimated that about 20,000 names will be in the 1,883 ballots representing the seats to be competed for an average of 10 people per seat.

Whereas the constitution, Elections Act 2011 and Political Parties act state the laws to be abided by for one to get their name on the ballot, well structured written systems by IEBC will also be necessary to avoid legal challenges becoming order of the day. Our media one week research of IEBC preparedness revealed very little in relation to documents that can guide candidates. The Malindi mock elections violence that resulted to destroyed ballot boxes, a scene similar to 2007, showed the IEBC has some work to do.  

For now a person looking to vie for any seat can refer to the constitution, political parties act and Election act. Questions like how does one collect signatures? Who is considered a State officer? What medical definition will be applied to determine unsound mind? What procedure and audit system will be used to verify that indeed the 500, 1,000 or 2,000 signatures are from ward, constituency or county the person is vying seat from and these persons are registered as voters in the constituency or county?     

As the IEBC continues to establish the guidelines that will lead to smooth elections, those looking to serve Kenyans can use these clauses for there planning. 

Constitution and Elections Act on Seats

President

137. (1) A person qualifies for nomination as a presidential candidate if the person—

(a) is a citizen by birth;

(b) is qualified to stand for election as a member of Parliament;

(c) is nominated by a political party, or is an independent candidate; and

(d) is nominated by not fewer than two thousand voters from each of a majority of the counties.

(2) A person is not qualified for nomination as a presidential candidate if the person—

(a) owes allegiance to a foreign state; or

(b) is a public officer, or is acting in any State or other public office.

(3) Clause (2) (b) shall not apply to—

(a) the President;

(b) the Deputy President; or

(c) a member of Parliament.

 

Member of Parliament (290 constituency Seat and 47 Women seats by County) 

99. (1) Unless disqualified under clause (2), a person is eligible for election as a Member of Parliament if the person—

(a) is registered as a voter;

(b) satisfies any educational, moral and ethical requirements prescribed by this Constitution or by an Act of Parliament; and

(c) is nominated by a political party, or is an independent candidate who is supported––

(i) in the case of election to the National Assembly, by at least one thousand registered voters in the constituency; or

(ii) in the case of election to the Senate, by at least two thousand registered voters in the county.

(2) A person is disqualified from being elected a member of Parliament if the person—

(a) is a State officer or other public officer, other than a member of Parliament;

(b) has, at any time within the five years immediately preceding the date of election, held office as a member of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission;

(c) has not been a citizen of Kenya for at least the ten years immediately preceding the date of election;

(d) is a member of a county assembly;

(e) is of unsound mind;

(f) is an undischarged bankrupt;

(g) is subject to a sentence of imprisonment of at least six months, as at the date of registration as a candidate, or at the date of election; or

(h) is found, in accordance with any law, to have misused or abused a State office or public office or in any way to have contravened Chapter Six.

(3) A person is not disqualified under clause (2) unless all possibility of appeal or review of the relevant sentence or decision has been exhausted.

 

County Governors (47 seats)

180. (1) The county governor shall be directly elected by the voters registered in the county, on the same day as a general election of Members of Parliament, being the second Tuesday in August, in every fifth year.

(2) To be eligible for election as county governor, a person must be eligible for election as a member of the county assembly.

(3) If only one candidate for county governor is nominated, that candidate shall be declared elected.

(4) If two or more candidates are nominated, an election shall be held in the county and the candidate who receives the greatest number of votes shall be declared elected.

(5) Each candidate for election as county governor shall nominate a person who is qualified for nomination for election as county governor as a candidate for deputy governor.

(6) The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission shall not conduct a separate election for the deputy governor but shall declare the candidate nominated by the person who is elected county governor to have been elected as the deputy governor.

(7) A person shall not hold office––

(a) as a county governor for more than two terms; or

 (b) as a deputy county governor for more than two terms.

(8) For the purposes of clause (7), a person who has assumed the office of county governor shall be deemed to have served a full term, subject only to Article 182 (3) (b).

 

County Assembly (1450 seats)

193. (1) Unless disqualified under clause (2), a person is eligible for election as a member of a county assembly if the person—

(a) is registered as a voter;

(b) satisfies any educational, moral and ethical requirements prescribed by this Constitution or an Act of Parliament; and

(c) is either—

(i) nominated by a political party; or

(ii) an independent candidate supported by at least five hundred registered voters in the ward concerned.

(2) A person is disqualified from being elected a member of a county assembly if the person—

(a) is a State officer or other public officer, other than a member of the county assembly;

(b) has, at any time within the five years immediately before the date of election, held office as a member of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission;

(c) has not been a citizen of Kenya for at least the ten years immediately preceding the date of election;

(d) is of unsound mind;

(e) is an undischarged bankrupt;

(f) is serving a sentence of imprisonment of at least six months; or

(g) has been found, in accordance with any law, to have misused or abused a State office or public office or to have contravened Chapter Six.

(3) A person is not disqualified under clause (2) unless all possibility of appeal or review of the relevant sentence or decision has been exhausted.

Nomination of independent candidates

A person qualifies to be nominated as an independent candidate for presidential, parliamentary and county elections for the purposes of Articles 97, 98, 137, 177, and 180 of the Constitution if that person—

(a) has not been a member of any political party for at least three months preceding the date of the election;

(b) has submitted to the Commission on the day appointed by the Commission as the nomination day, a duly filled nomination paper as the Commission may prescribe;

(c) has submitted the symbol that the person intends to use during the election; and

(d) is selected in the manner provided for in the Constitution and as may be prescribed by the Commission.

Approval of symbol for independent candidate

 (1) An independent candidate shall submit the symbol the candidate intends to use during an election to the Commission at least twenty one days before nomination day.

(2)The Commission shall, upon receipt of the symbol submitted to it under subsection (1) approve or reject the symbol.

(3) The Commission may refuse to approve the symbol of an independent candidate if the symbol—

(a) is obscene or offensive;

(b) is the symbol of another candidate or of a political party; or

(c) so nearly resembles the symbol of another candidate or political party or any other legal entity registered under any other written law.

 

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