A Member of County Assembly plays three crucial roles. These roles are representation, legislation, and oversight. They represent residents from their wards in governance at the county level. They make and amend laws that affect the counties and oversee the executive arm of the county government.
A Member of the County Assembly also plays a crucial role to advance the role of the County Assembly. That is why Kenyans elect their MCA of choice every five years during the general elections.
For anyone who wants to vie for the seat, there are qualifications for election as a Member of the County Assembly in Kenya. Some guidelines are a set of conditions that they must meet to qualify to vie for the seat.
(1) Unless disqualified under clause (2), a person is eligible for election as a member of a county assembly if the person–
(a) is registered as a voter;
(b) satisfies any educational, moral, and ethical requirements prescribed by this Constitution or an Act of Parliament; and
(c) is either–
(i) nominated by a political party; or
(ii) an independent candidate supported by at least five hundred registered voters in the ward concerned.
(2) A person is disqualified from being elected a member of a county assembly if the person–
(a) is a State officer or other public officer, other than a member of the county assembly;
(b) has, at any time within the five years immediately before the date of the election, held office as a member of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission;
(c) has not been a citizen of Kenya for at least the ten years immediately preceding the date of the election;
(d) is of unsound mind;
(e) is an undischarged bankrupt;
(f) is serving a sentence of imprisonment of at least six months; or
(g) has been found, by any law, to have misused or abused a State office or public office or to have contravened Chapter Six.
(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.
Requirements For A Member Of County Assembly
A party candidate, an independent candidate, or their authorized agent should submit certain documents to IEBC during the nomination process.
The candidate or their agent should submit a certified copy of a national identity card or a valid passport. The ID or passport should be the document the candidate used to register as a voter. They should also submit a passport size photograph with white background in soft (electronic) and hard (printed) copies.
If the candidate was a public officer, they should provide a letter of discharge from their employer. The letter should confirm that the candidate was not in employment six months before the general elections. This requirement does not apply to those holding other elective seats that may want to contest for the position of a Member of the County Assembly.
A party candidate should submit a nomination certificate from a fully registered political party nominating the candidate. An authorized official in the party should have duly signed the certificate.
The party or independent candidate should submit a duly signed Code of Conduct (Second Schedule of the Elections Act, 2011).
For Independent Candidates There is Additional Requirements
There are a few additional requirements for independent candidates intending to vie for a Member of County Assembly position.
They should submit a clearance certificate from the Registrar of Political Parties. The certificate should certify that the person was not a political party member for the last three months before the elections. (Regulation 15(a) of the Elections (General) Regulations, 2012).
The candidate or their agent delivering a nomination application should at the same time deliver to the Constituency Returning Officer, standard A4 sheets of paper bearing the names, respective signatures, and identity card numbers of five hundred voters registered in the ward, by a date set aside by IEBC.
The sheets of paper delivered above should—
- be serially numbered;
- each has at the top, in typescript, the wording at the top of Form 18; and
- be accompanied by copies of the identity cards of the voters.
They should also provide a duly filled Form of Intention to Contest in the form prescribed by the election regulations. (Regulation 15(b) of the Elections (General) Regulations, 2012).
In addition, the candidate should provide the symbol they intend to use during the election. IEBC should have approved the symbol by Section 32 of the Elections Act, 2011.
Lastly, the candidate should maintain a functioning office in their respective electoral area where they intend to contest.
The office must be available for inspection by IEBC by a date the commission prescribes. The candidate should communicate the address, including the physical address of the office, to the commission.
Qualifications For Nomination As A Member Of County Assembly
An application for nomination for candidature at a county assembly member election should be accompanied by a non-refundable nomination fee, in banker’s draft (banker’s cheque) of;-
- KES 2,500 for special interest groups, that is, the youth, women and persons with disabilities. Youth means an adult below the age of 35 years;
- KES 5,000 for any other candidate.