Kenya General Election Series: Is your Candidate Qualified for the Post?

Qualification requirements are important to know after one has knowledge of the various posts that are being vied for. This article looks at the qualifications for the seats highlighted on the 18th of December 2012. If you find this information useful, please share it so that we can have an educated voter at the ballot this time. The enumeration is not predicated on any order/hierarchy of seniority. Enjoy your reading.

Before going into the specifics, there is one thing that all Kenyans must remember. All these Offices are bound by Chapter Six of the Constitution (Leadership and Integrity) as well as the Leadership and Integrity Act, Public Officers Ethics Act and other applicable laws. Therefore just because the constitution does not explicitly state law on an issue does not mean that the issue is not legislated. I urge all right minded Kenyans to seek out these pieces of legislations and read/study them in addition to the provisions of the Constitution of Kenya 2010.


Qualification [see arts 137 & 148(1)]

  1. Citizen by birth
  2. Qualified to stand election as a Member of Parliament i.e. the qualifications and disqualifications of MP Office applies
  3. Nominated by a political party or is an independent candidate
  4. Nominated by not fewer than 2000 signatures of registered voters from each of a majority of counties. This translates to 48,000 signatures since a majority of the counties would be 24/47
  5. Section 22 of the Election Act requires that the aspirant must have a degree from a recognized university in Kenya


  1. Owes allegiance to a foreign state. This means that those with dual citizenship cannot run for these offices
  2. Is a state/public officer other than the President, Deputy President or Member of Parliament


Qualification [see art 180 (2) & (5)]

  1. Eligibility for election as a member of the county assembly
  2. Section 22 of the Elections Act applies, one must have a degree from a recognized university


These State Offices are considered as a batch because they are members of parliament. Under constitution Parliament has two chambers: the National Assembly and the Senate. Women representatives are members of the National Assembly; an attempt to implement the 2/3 majority rule. Thus the requirements of article 99 of the constitution apply to all these offices.


  1. Registered voter: anyone vying for these posts and is not a registered voter cannot stand for election. Thus if your candidate is not registered voter, he/she may be locked out of the process.
  2. Compliance with moral, educational and ethical requirements: Section 13 of the Leadership and Integrity Act provides the moral and ethical requirements as follows:
    1. Demonstrate honesty in the conduct of public affairs subject to the Public Officer Ethics Act No. 4 of 2003
    2. Refrain from activities amounting to abuse of office
    3. Accurately and honestly represent information to the public
    4. Not engage in wrongful conduct in furtherance of personal benefit
    5. Not misuse public resources
    6. Not discriminate against any person except as expressly provided for under the law
    7. Not falsify records
    8. Not engage in activities that would lead the State Officer’s removal from the membership of a professional body under the law
    9. Not commit offences and in particular any of the offences under Parts XV and XVI of the Penal Code, the Sexual Offences Act, the Counter-Trafficking in Persons Act and the Children’s Act.
  3. Education requirements are to be found in section 22 of the Elections Act. The minimum requirement is a Diploma, Certificate or post secondary education requiring at least 3 months study and is recognized by the relevant ministry and in a manner prescribed by IEBC.
  4. Nomination by a political party in accordance with the Elections Act or is an Independent Candidate. In the latter case he/she must have at least 1000 signatures in the constituency or at least 2000 signatures in the county from registered voters for the National Assembly and Senatorial seats respectively.


  1. Is an undischarged bankrupt
  2. Is of unsound mind
  3. Sentenced to a jail term exceeding 6 months either at the time of registration as a candidate or election
  4. Found to have contravened chapter six or have misused or abused State/Public office.
  5. Is a State/Public Officer other than an MP
  6. Is a member of a County Assembly
  7. Not been a citizen at least 10 years preceding the elections
  8. Has been a member of IEBC or ECK (as the Ombudsman interpreted it) at any time within the five years preceding the date of election

NB: unless appellate avenues have been exhausted, an aspirant is not barred from running for these State Offices.



These are the same as those of Members of Parliament with slight variations. The difference is that Independent Candidates must garner at least 500 signatures in support of their candidature [Art. 193(1) (c) (ii)]. These signatures must be those of the members of the ward concerned as are registered voters.


These are similar to those given for Members of Parliament with the exception of number 6. The note at the end of the previous section immediately preceding this one, applies to county assembly members.

Finally, there is a general disqualification which concerns fundraising. Section 26 of the Elections Act forbids an aspirant from engaging in a fundraising directly or indirectly within 8 months preceding the election date. However, fundraising for the aspirants and party campaign are exempted.


13 responses to “Kenya General Election Series: Is your Candidate Qualified for the Post?

  1. If I am nominated as the Deputy governor by the nominated Governor and I am a public servant should I resign from my job?

    • 1. There is no such thing as a nominated Governor. All Governors are elected.

      2. Should you be selected to be a running mate of a Governor or a Deputy Governor, you must resign from your work otherwise you will.not be deemed to be fully serving your county in that capacity.

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