The Presidential Electoral System Under the New Constitution

 

 

Integrity. Leadership. Popular

 

Content
Introduction

Qualification and Leadership

To be qualified to run for a member of Parliament is to be qualified to run for President.

 Nomination to Run

A candidate must be nominated by at least 2,000 voters in at least 24 out of the 47 Counties; via a political party or as an independent.

Election System

The President is elected by popular vote. However, the winner must secure the popular vote i.e., garner more than half the votes cast, and secure 25% of the vote in at least 24 Counties.

 

Presidential Aspirants for 2013

(Click the above link to see the list of those officially gazetted to run for election.)

The List consists of seven men and one woman. It also had four main coalitions and no independent candidate.

 

Introduction

 

The Presidency enjoyed wide-ranging, almost unlimited executive powers under the Independence Constitution. Excerpts from Chapter 2 - The Executive, Part 3 - Executive Power,  

23. (1) The executive authority of the Government of Kenya shall vest in the President ........

Indeed, the President's actions and authority were not to be questioned by anyone or shared by any other democratic institution:

24. Subject to this Constitution and any other law, the powers of constituting and abolishing offices for the Republic of Kenya, of making appointments to any such office and terminating any such appointment, shall vest in the President.

25. (1) Save in so far as may be otherwise provided by this Constitution or by any other law, every person who holds office in the service of the Republic of Kenya shall hold that office during the pleasure of the President ........

These and other Constitutional provisions ensured that the Presidential race took center-stage at every election. The (mis)use of Presidential powers has often generated plenty of disenfranchisement and political tensions, as they were frequently used to buy and reward loyalty. The people of Kenya via the New Constitution have sought to tone down the importance and powers of the Presidency by introducing the concept of devolution, by re-assigning powers of the Presidency to Commissions and Independent Offices, and by giving the National Assembly the oversight role of vetting appointments to State Offices, etc. Indeed, the New Constitution vests executive power to a Cabinet rather than to an individual. Excerpts from Article 130 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010's Chapter 9 - The Executive, Part 1 - Principals and Structure of the National Executive:

130. (1) The national executive of the Republic comprises the President, the Deputy President and the rest of the Cabinet.

Having said that though, old habits die hard and the 2013 Presidential race in Kenya promised to generate as much (if not more) interest than in previous races. Campaigns were both vigorous and rigorous. As is the habit in all our discussions in this website, we begin our survey and analysis of the Presidential Race by examining what the Constitution of Kenya 2010 has to say about it.

 

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