Electoral System Under the New Constitution

 

 

Regular. Free. Fair

 

Contents
Introduction

Bill of Rights

The Constitution of Kenya 2010 grants every citizen the right to political persuasion, freedom of association and the right to be registered and to vote.

Inclusive

The Electoral System under the New Constitution makes affirmative provisions for the effective participation of women, the marginalised and special interests groups.

Regular

The Constitution of Kenya 2010 further provides for a general election on the same date, every five years.

Free and Fair

Voting for all electoral positions is by secret ballot. Each voter  makes a single selection on the ballot paper for a candidate of their choice for a specific elective seat.

Credible

Electoral system must be simple, transparent and secure.

Electoral Courts

The Electoral Process is concluded when and only when electoral courts have dispensed with all election petitions.

 

Introduction

 

Kenya's New Constitution brought with it various changes into the electoral system. These changes were geared towards a free and fair electoral process that is more representative and inclusive than was the case in previous elections.

Past elections in Kenya were bedeviled by many ills and inefficiencies that led to exclusion and misrepresentation, dictatorships and rule by minorities, political uncertainty, controversy and conflict, etc.

The new changes heralded a new dawn for Kenya. The New Constitution and relevant legislation have variously provisioned for fair, speedy and just adjudication on electoral disputes that may arise. In this regard, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission IEBC, is empowered to consider and resolve disputes arising from the delineation of electoral boundaries and the nominations of candidates by political parties. Thereafter, the Courts can be expected to rule justly on petitions touching on the election itself:: 

88. (4) The Commission is responsible for ....... (e) the settlement of electoral disputes, including disputes relating to or arising from nominations but excluding
election petitions and disputes subsequent to the declaration of election results;

Devolution has created the County as the new key center of political competition such that five out of the six elective seats will fill positions within the county. The new electoral laws must therefore curb the use of state resources and spending by politicians and political parties especially at the local level - to prevent them from buying their way into public office. "The risks are said to be higher where there are weak democratic institutions, especially electoral systems, and where the poor, who are less informed, are more likely to vote on the basis of the candidates’ campaign spending" (Kirira N., 2011).

 

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