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How to Deregister from a Political Party in Kenya

It is important to know how to deregister from a political party in Kenya. Every citizen is free to make political choices, which includes the right to participate in the activities of, or recruit members for, a political party or even to resign from a political party in Kenya.

This is a continuation of part one of this article, How to Join a Political Party.

How to leave a political party in Kenya

There are four ways a person ceases to be a member of a political party in Kenya. These include:

  • by resignation;
  • by expulsion;
  • through “deeming”; or
  • natural attrition.

1. how to resign from a political party in Kenya

To resign from a political party in Kenya, a member who intends to resign should give written notice before resignation to—

  • the political party;
  • the clerk of the relevant House of Parliament (the Senate or National Assembly), if the member is a member of Parliament; or
  • the clerk of a county assembly, if the member is a member of a county assembly.

The resignation of the member of the political party should take effect upon receipt of such notice by the political party or clerk of the relevant House or county assembly.

The political party and the clerk should notify the Registrar of Political Parties within seven days from the resignation.

Upon receiving the notification, the Registrar should cause the name of such member to be removed from the membership list of that political party.

2. Leaving a party by expulsion

Members are bound by the Constitution of a political party. The party may expel any member who violates its constitution.

Each political party normally sets out the party disciplinary mechanism.

The party should afford a fair opportunity for the member to be heard following the internal party disputes resolution mechanisms as prescribed in the Constitution of the party.

3. Leaving a party “through deeming”

A person should not be a member of more than one political party at the same time.

A person who, while being a member of a political party—

  • forms another political party;
  • joins in the formation of another political party;
  • joins another political party;
  • in any way or manner, publicly advocates for the formation of another political party; or
  • promotes the ideology, interests or policies of another political party,

should be deemed to have resigned from the previous political party.

The word “deem” in this case may mean to “determine, consider as, regard as, adjudge, regard, hold, and view, hold as, et cetera.”

There are two ways by which a member of a political party is deemed to have resigned from the party:

  • by the party of which a person is a member; or
  • by the Registrar of Political Parties.

Every political party must have a criterion and procedure for deeming a member. The criteria and procedure must reflect the above criteria for deeming.

The political party must submit the criteria for the deeming of a member to the Registrar of Political Parties together with the party constitution.

A political party whose member is deemed to have resigned, should following the procedure set out in the constitution of that political party, notify the Registrar of Political Parties of such decision within seven days.

Upon receiving the complaint, the Registrar should cause the name of such member to be removed from the membership list of that political party.

When the Registrar receives a reasonably justified complaint either from the members of the party or from the public, the Registrar may initiate the deeming process.

The deeming process does not apply to political coalitions. Political parties can legally form coalitions. A member of a political party may:

  • in any way or manner, publically (in public) advocate for the formation of a coalition in which their party intends to be a member or the member advocated that the party should be a member;
  • promote the ideology, interests or policies of a coalition in which their party is a member.

4. Leaving a party through natural attrition

A person can cease to be a member of a political party in Kenya through death.

If a member of a political party dies, they cease to be a member of the party automatically.

Deregister from a political party in Kenya

The law requires political parties to seek consent for membership recruitment from the person they enrol upon registration. Moreover, only party members are allowed to participate in the party primaries.

Sometimes, there are numerous complaints from citizens enlisted by political parties that they never subscribed to. To curb this fraud, and for accountability and transparency, it is necessary to clean up their names from the parties membership register.

In such circumstances, a member should follow these steps to deregister from a political party in Kenya:

  • write a letter of resignation, with their details to the party and copy the Registrar of Political Parties.
  • attach a copy of National ID or Valid Passport to the letter.
  • send a copy of the letter and National ID or Valid Passport to the office of the Registrar of Political Parties, or scan and forward to info@orpp.or.ke.

Upon receiving the letter, the Registrar should cause the name of such member to be removed from the membership list of that political party.

For more information on how to leave a political party in Kenya, download the guide to political party membership (PDF).

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Gĩthĩnji is the founder of afrocave.com. He is passionate about politics and governance, public finance management and cycling.@Afrophi