The qualifications for nominated candidates in Kenya ensure the suitability of the candidates for the various nominated positions. These nominations are important in ensuring gender equality and the representation of special interest groups.
The qualifications for nominated candidates in Kenya apply to the following:
- Nominees of Party Lists under Articles 97(1) (c) and 98 (1) (b), (c) and (d) of the Constitution, and
- for the members of County Assemblies under Article 177 (1) (b) and (c) of the Constitution.
Article 97(1) (c) of the Constitution says that the National Assembly (in addition to other members) consists of–twelve members nominated by parliamentary political parties according to their proportion of members of the National Assembly in accordance with Article 90, to represent special interests including the youth, persons with disabilities and workers;
Article 98(1) says that the Senate (in addition to other members) consists of – (b) sixteen women members who shall be nominated by political parties according to their proportion of members of the Senate elected…in accordance with Article 90; c) two members, being one man and one woman, representing the youth; and (d) two members, being one man and one woman, representing persons with disabilities.
Article 177(1) of the Constitution says the County Assembly (in addition to other members) consists of – (b) the number of special seat members necessary to ensure that no more than two-thirds of the members of the assembly are of the same gender; and (c) the number of members of marginalised groups, including persons with disabilities and the youth, prescribed by an Act of Parliament.
Therefore, these nominated candidates in Kenya are as follows:
- Nominee to the National Assembly;
- Nominee to the Senate;
- Youth Nominee to the Senate;
- Persons with Disability Nominee to the Senate;
- Marginalized Group Nominee to the County Assembly;
- Gender Special Seats Nominee to the County Assembly (for gender top-up).
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To become eligible for the position of a nominated candidate in the Senate, National Assembly or County Assembly, you need to meet a number of requirements. The qualifications for nominated candidates in Kenya are as follows:
- Must be a Kenyan citizen for at least 10 years before the election;
- Must be a registered voter;
- Must not owe allegiance to a foreign state;
- Certification of Disability from the relevant institution as prescribed by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
A Political Party must submit the following documents to the Commission (IEBC) during the Commission’s Nomination:
- Party Lists containing nominees appointed in accordance with Articles 97(1)(c), 98(1)(b), (c) and 177(1)(c) and (c) of the Constitution in the manner prescribed by the Commission and authorized by signatories of the nominating Political Party;
- Duly signed copies of Letters of Acceptance of the Nominees;
- Certified copies of educational qualification certificates of the Nominees (where applicable), including a Diploma certificate or other post-secondary qualification, acquired after a period of three months recognized by the relevant Ministry (usually the ministry in charge of education and higher education) in accordance with Section 22(1)(b) of the Elections Act, 2011 and Regulation 47 of Elections (General) Regulations, 2012. – Where the body that issued the certificate is not based in Kenya, a certified copy of the certificate must be submitted which must be authenticated and or equated by the Kenya National Examination Council in case of Form 4 certificates, or the Commission of Higher Education, in case of University Degrees.
Update: Two Constitutional petitions nullified the requirement for a university degree for members of Parliament and members of the County Assembly.