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Key Partners

By Corporate Communication

Lion Place Nairobi, Kenya; July, 20, 2020.

The continual assessment of state of preparedness towards general elections is a key component in an electoral cycle. Key players in election processes virtually convened on the 15th July 2020, organised by Electoral Observation Group (ELOG) Kenya to scrutinise the state of affairs under the theme Kenya’s reforms scorecard ahead of the 2022 general elections.

Participants were drawn from state, non-state actors and a host of independent experts in electoral processes such as the Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Political Parties Dispute Tribunal (PPDT, Siasa Place and the Electoral Law and Governance Institute (ELGIA).

Central in the discussions was the various reforms that have been and are on cards upbeat to the forthcoming general election. The Registrar of Political Parties, Ann Nderitu was among the lead panel of experts leading the discussions. In her presentation, the Registrar highlighted key areas of reforms, proposing a holistic and contextualised approach to the required reforms.

Elog webinar

A promotional poster containing the lead panellists in the forum. Illustration courtesy of ELOG

Based on the experiences of past general elections, wide array of issues were deliberated. The Registrar enumerated laudable milestones achieved so far by a multi-agency taskforce established in 2018 on necessary reforms, one of which, development of a draft policy and bill on party primaries.

 “A host of issues besides the policy and bill also come to the fore out of the Taskforce’s strive. Such as proposals for a review of procedures, clarity and measures governing Internal Dispute Mechanisms on party primaries”, noted Ann Nderitu.

On independent candidates, she informed of the ORPP’s proposal to use clear photos rather than symbols which proved the process of clearing independent candidates tedious and cumbersome. This would call for amendment of section 32 of the Elections Act to reflect the shift.

The Registrar noted the need for fast-tracking amendments to the relevant laws to iron gray areas identified.

“ORPP being the custodian of party records including party membership register, there is need for a better coordination for instance, in submission of party membership lists for purposes of nominations, emanate from ORPP and not political parties, a way that will reduce unnecessary workload on the parties. Similarly, for the matter of submission of party nomination rules”, she observed.

Consistency in respect to sanctions was also put into scrutiny with proposals for the need to set out penalties for breach of political parties’ code of conduct to mirror that of the electoral code of conduct as stipulated in the Elections Act. Currently, penalties for contravention of the political parties’ code are not provided for in the political parties Act, 2011.

A host of other proposals were discussed including the need to have a collaborative arrangement between the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal (PPDT) for external arbitration that have always turned highly litigious. Other proposals were on: qualifications into Political Parties Liaison Committee (PPLC), regulation of sources and expenditure limits in political campaigns, management of party lists, party primaries to be a subject of internal dispute resolution mechanisms, criteria for allocation of the Political Parties Fund among others.