Qualification and Leadership

 

The really important qualification to run for President of Kenya is that one is qualified to stand for election as a member of Parliament. Part 2 - The President and Deputy President, excerpts:

137. (1) A person qualifies for nomination as a presidential candidate if the person— (b) is qualified to stand for election as a member of Parliament;

Therefore, in order to discover what it takes to run for President we must examine what the Constitution says on the qualifications to stand as a member of Parliament. Excerpts from Chapter 8 - The Legislature, Part 2 - Composition and Membership of Parliament, Article 99:

99. (1) ....... a person is eligible for election as a member of Parliament if the person— (b) satisfies any educational, moral and ethical requirements prescribed by this Constitution or by an Act of Parliament; .......

More on this and other requirements for candidature can be found under the discussion on values (integrity and ethics) in the Political Parties System Under the New Constitution link. Of course, criminal guilt makes for sufficient reasons for disqualification from the Presidential race:

99. (2) A person is disqualified from being elected a member of Parliament if the person— (h) is found, in accordance with any law, to have misused or abused a State office or public office or in any way to have contravened Chapter Six.

Notwithstanding the assumed guilt described by Clause (2), the aspiring candidate can still run for office pending an appeal.

99. (3) A person is not disqualified under clause (2) unless all possibility of appeal or review of the relevant sentence or decision has been exhausted.

The Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission was expected by many, to play a key role in the 'vetting' of candidates desirous of standing for President (and other electoral seats) in 2013; that they (the candidates) fulfilled the requirements of Chapter 6 on Leadership and Integrity, excerpts:

79. ....... ethics and anti-corruption commission, ........ for purposes of ensuring compliance with, and enforcement of, the provisions of this Chapter.

80. ........ (c) providing for the application of this Chapter, with the necessary modifications, to public officers; and (d) making any other provision necessary for ensuring the promotion of the principles of leadership and integrity mentioned in this Chapter, and the enforcement of this Chapter.

The Political Parties Act 2011 also espouses leadership and integrity guidelines to be followed in the nomination of Presidential candidates. So too does the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Act, 2011. These Acts of Parliament (and others) have been empowered by Article 99.

99. (1) ....... a person is eligible for election as a member of Parliament if the person— (b) satisfies any educational, moral and ethical requirements prescribed by this Constitution or by an Act of Parliament; ........

Only an incumbent President, Deputy President or Member of Parliament is exempted from giving up their public office in order to qualify to run for the Presidency. The same, of course, is not applicable to other Public Officers:

137. (2) A person is not qualified for nomination as a presidential candidate if the person— (b) is a public officer, or is acting in any State or other public office.
(3) Clause (2) (b) shall not apply to— (a) the President; (b) the Deputy President; or (c) a member of Parliament.

 

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