Elections in Kenya

Elections in Kenya give citizens a chance to exercise their democratic right by voting in or out the leaders they desire. Elections are a basis of democratic legitimacy. A credible election is one characterized by inclusiveness, transparency, accountability, openness and competitiveness.

Kenya has had 10 General elections after gaining Independence this is in the period between 1969- 2013. The 1st Elections were held in 1961 under Universal Supervision and out of the 65 seats, 20 were allocated to Europeans 10, Indians 8 Arabs 2.

New Constitution

A new constitution was introduced in 2010, and the first elections were held under it in 2013. Running as the Jubilee Alliance candidate, Uhuru Kenyatta defeated Odinga, receiving 50.5% of the vote. Although Kenyatta’s National Alliance emerged as the largest party in the re-established Senate, Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement won the most seats in the National Assembly, with 96 of the 349 seats.

2017 August 8th Elections

The August 8th Presidential Elections, were nullified by the Supreme Court citing irregularities in the whole process. There were over 1,800 elective seats up for grabs which included the presidency, governors, senators, women representatives, Members of Parliament and Members of county assemblies.

There are at least 72 election petitions in court that are yet to be acted on. Despite that, most of the elected leaders have already been sworn in and acting on their responsibilities.

The next presidential elections will be held on 17th October, 2017 with only 2 contestants: Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga

Recall Elections

Recall elections are a special type of elections under Article 104 of the Constitution. They take place when the electorate is dissatisfied with their elected representatives. People present a petition to the IEBC when they want to recall their elected representatives.

The elected representatives affected by recall elections are:

  • MPs representing Constituencies.
  • Women Representatives.
  • Ward Representatives, also known as Members of the County Assembly (MCAs).

Laws governing Elections in Kenya

There are laws that directly govern the electoral process in Kenya. They are the ones that form the substance of this handbook. The said laws are the following.

  • The Constitution of Kenya 2010.
  • The Elections Act, 2011.
  • The Political Parties Act, 2011.
  • The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Act, 2011