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The Laws Governing Elections in Kenya

  • Author: Gĩthĩnji
  • Updated on:

There are various laws governing elections in Kenya. Article 82 of the Kenyan Constitution directs Parliament to enact legislation on elections in Kenya.

Article 82 (1) of the Constitution says that Parliament should enact legislation to provide for–

  • the delimitation by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission of electoral units for the election of members of the National Assembly and County Assemblies;
  • the nomination of candidates;
  • the continuous registration of citizens as voters;
  • the administration of elections and referendums, as well as the regulation and efficient supervision of elections and referendums, including the nomination of candidates for elections; and
  • the continuous registration of citizens residing outside Kenya and the progressive realisation of their right to vote.

Therefore, apart from the Constitution, there are various Acts of Parliament, which are laws governing elections in Kenya passed by Parliament. Acts of Parliament create new laws or amend existing laws.

Laws governing elections in Kenya

The laws governing elections in Kenya are–

  • the Constitution;
  • the Elections Act;
  • the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Act;
  • the Election Offences Act; and
  • the Election Campaign Financing Act.

The Constitution

The Constitution of Kenya contains the foundation for the laws governing elections in Kenya. Chapter Seven of the Constitution deals with the representation of the people, with emphasis on the following–

  • the electoral system and process;
  • the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission;
  • the delimitation of electoral units;
  • the political parties.

The Elections Act

The Elections Act is the primary Act of Parliament that governs the elections in Kenya. The purpose of the Elections Act is to–

  • provide for the conduct of elections to the office of the President, the National Assembly, the Senate, County Governor and County Assembly;
  • provide for the conduct of referenda;
  • provide for election dispute resolution; and
  • for connected purposes.

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Act

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Act is an Act of Parliament that provides for the appointment and effective operation of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and connected purposes.

The Election Offences Act

The Election Offences Act is a Parliamentary Act that governs election offences and related matters.

Among these offences are offences relating to voting, the voter register, members and staff of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), and bribery.

Election Campaign Financing Act

The Election Campaign Financing Act is an Act of Parliament that should provide for the regulation, management, expenditure and accountability of election campaign funds during election and referendum campaigns.

Subsidiary Legislation

The list of subsidiary legislation governing elections in Kenya are–

  • Elections (Registration of Voters) Regulations;
  • Elections (General) Regulations
  • Rules of Procedure on Settlement of Disputes;
  • Elections (Technology) Regulations;
  • Elections (Party Primaries and Party Lists) Regulations;
  • Elections (Voter Education) Regulations;
  • Elections (Parliamentary and County Elections) Petitions Rules.

Other laws governing elections in Kenya

The other laws governing elections in Kenya include the Political Parties Act and the Leadership and Integrity Act.

Political Parties Act

The Political Parties Act is an Act of Parliament that provides for the registration, regulation and funding of political parties and connected purposes.

Leadership and Integrity Act

The Leadership and Integrity Act is an Act of Parliament that gives effect to and establishes procedures and mechanisms for the effective administration of Chapter Six of the Constitution and connected purposes.

Here’s a brochure with more information about the laws governing elections in Kenya.