These are the requirements one must meet in order to register a political party in Kenya according to The Registrar Of Political Parties. Registration of a political party in Kenya is a two stages process; First, provisional registration, and second, full registration.
1. Provisional Registration
According to the Political Parties Act of 2011, the application must be made by authorized interim officials of the proposed political party and on forms provided by the Registrar Of Political Parties. The following guidelines and format shall apply to the provisional registration of political parties:
- Name Search
To apply for provisional registration, an application for name search of the proposed political party must be submitted to the Registrar of Political Parties. The application should be in writing on any of the founding members’ letter-head, if any, and may be sent by registered post or presented personally to the Registrar of Political Parties.
A name shall not be approved for the purpose of registration of a political party if it is:
• Obscene or offensive;
• excessively long;
• is the name, or is an abbreviation of another political party that is already registered;
• nearly resembles the name or an abbreviation of the name of another political party already registered or any other legal entity registered under any other law.
- Application for Provisional Registration
After the name is approved, the applicant will submit an application for provisional registration giving therein full particulars required under section 6(2) of the Political Parties Act, 2011. The application must be in writing and signed by the authorized interim officials.
- Information to Accompany Application for Provisional Registration
The application must be accompanied by the following documents/information:
a) Signed minutes of the first meeting of the founding members of the political party.
b) The name of the party.
c) Abbreviation of the party’ s name (where it wishes to use an abbreviation of its name);
d) A copy of the Constitution of the proposed party :
(i) A copy of the party Constitution must be neatly typed/printed and contain specific provisions set out in the Second Schedule of the Political Parties Act, 2011 as required under section 9.
(ii)The Schedule specifies the information to be contained in the Constitution of the party and this includes, but is not limited to:
1. The vision, mission and guiding values and principles of the party
2. Physical and postal address of the registered office of the party
3. Organisational elections at different levels, mode of such elections and the periodicity of such elections
4. Term of office of the office-bearers and the powers and duties of the office-bearers of the party
5. The various representative bodies of the party (such as Executive Committee and the National Delegates Conference)
6. The party nomination rules and regulations
7. Procedure to be followed in the case of the coalition and/or merger
8. Dissolution of the party
9. Amendment in the Party Constitution
10. Internal dispute mechanisms
11. Disciplinary action against erring members of the party; and
12. Membership requirements of the party. Thereshouldnotbeany discrimination in the matter of membership.
e) an undertaking to be bound by the Political Parties Act and the Code of Conduct set out in the First Schedule of the Political Parties Act.
f) A request for the registration of the symbol of the political party.
- Certificate of Provisional Registration
After the Registrar has verified that the party’s application for registration is complete, he or she will issue a certificate of provisional registration to the founding members within thirty days (30) of receipt of an application.
If the party is not eligible for provisional registration, the Registrar will indicate which requirements have not been met.
The information of the provisionally registered political party shall be entered in the provisional register for record keeping.
- Lapse of Provisional Registration
The provisional registration of a political party shall lapse and a provisional registration certificate shall cease to have effect at the expiry of one hundred and eighty (180) days from the date of issue of the certificate of provisional registration.
- Benefits of Provisional Registration
A provisionally registered party may carry out activities necessary so as to meet the requirements for full registration such as recruiting at least 1000 members in more than a half of the counties and the establishment of national party office and party branch offices in more than half of the counties.
2. Full Registration
The Political Parties Act does not define a fully registered political party, but a party that has provisional registration may apply to be fully registered after one hundred and eighty (180) days from the date of provisional registration. Any application made after the said period will be time-barred under the provisions of Section 5(5) of the Political Parties Act, 2011.
- Application for Full Registration
An application for full registration must be in writing using the forms provided by the Registrar and must be signed by authorised officials of the provisionally registered political party.
- Requirements for Full Registration
A political party is qualified for full registration if:
a) It has recruited as members, not fewer than one thousand registered voters from each of more than half of the counties.
b) The members reflect regional and ethnic diversity, gender balance and representation of minorities and marginalised groups.
c) The composition of its governing body reflects regional and ethnic diversity, gender balance and representation of minorities and marginalised groups.
d) Not more than two-thirds of the members of its governing body are of the same gender.
e) It has demonstrated that members of its governing body meet the requirements of Chapter Six of the Constitution and the laws relating to ethics.
f) It has undertaken to be bound by this Act and the Code of Conduct set out in the First Schedule of the Act.
g) It has submitted to the registrar the following information.
- List of the names, addresses and identification particulars
of all its members
- location of its head office, which shall be a registered office within Kenya and a postal address to which notices
and other communication may be sent.
- Location and addresses of the branch offices of the political party, which shall be in more than half of the counties.
Information to Accompany Application for Full Registration
The application for full registration must be accompanied by the following documents/information:
a) Application fees which is non-refundable.
b) Extracts of voters’ register in respect of more than 1000 members (including authorised officials/ office bearers and members of the executive committee and other organs) from each of more than a half the counties.
The extract should be certified by the relevant official from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.
c) An affidavit from the Secretary-General of the party duly sworn before a Magistrate/ Commissioner for Oaths Commissioner/Notary Public affirming that no member of the party is a member of any other political the party already registered with the Registrar and that the member was recruited using established procedures (Specimen of the affidavit at
d) Proof that the members reflect regional and ethnic diversity, gender balance and representation of minorities and marginalised groups
e) A list of members of its governing body and proof that this:
• body reflects regional and ethnic diversity, gender balance and representation of minorities and marginalised groups
• Not more than two-thirds of the members of its governing body are of the same gender
f) Proof that each member of the governing body:
• Satisfies the requirements of Chapter Six. Each will be required to produce a Certificate of Good Conduct, Certificate of Tax Compliance from Kenya Revenue Authority and a clearance certificate from the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission.
• Has not been convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced to imprisonment for a period of not less than six months. Each member to furnish information about their criminal antecedents.
• Has not been suspended for a period of six months for violating the code of conduct of the political party. An affidavit will be required in this regard.
g) A list of the names, addresses and identification particulars of all its members
h) Tangible proof, such as lease agreement, on the location of its Head and County offices, which shall be registered offices and a postal address to which notices and other communication may be sent.
I) The location and addresses of the branch offices of the political party, which shall be in more than half of the counties.
j) An undertaking to be bound by this Act and the Code of Conduct set out in the First Schedule of the Act.
At any time before registration, an eligible party may withdraw its application by sending a request to withdraw to the Registrar. The authorised official who signed the application must sign the request to withdraw the application.
Benefits of Full Registration
A fully registered political party enjoys several advantages including:
• Being identified on the ballot with the candidates it endorses;
• Considered for political parties funding
• Receiving guaranteed broadcasting time.
• Summon a meeting of members or officers of the political party.
• Attend or make a person attend a meeting in the capacity of a member or officer of the political party.
• Publish a notice or advertisement relating to a meeting of the political party
• Invite persons to support the political party.
Certificate of Full Registration
A political party is fully registered on the date of issue indicated on the certificate of full registration.
A Political party may get deregistered or suspended from registration under certain specific circumstances.
Deregistration may be:
The Registrar has wide powers set out in s. 34 of the Act. The Registrar may deregister a party in carrying out regulatory functions.
Grounds of Deregistration
The Registrar may deregister a party if the party:
1. Has contravened the provisions of Article 91 of the Constitution;
2. Does not promote free and fair nomination of candidates
3. Does not adhere to the law relating to the nomination of candidates
4. Does not respect the national values and principles of the Constitution
5. Obtained its registration in a fraudulent manner
6. Has instigated or participated in the commission of an election offence
5. Has acted contrary to the provisions of section 26 by not adhering to the legal requirements of the political parties fund.
The Registrar will follow this procedure before deregistering a political party:
I. Notify the party in writing by notice sent to all party officers:
• Of the particulars of the breach or contravention;
• Of the intention to deregister the political party; and
• Direct the political party to remedy the breach or contravention within ninety days or otherwise show cause why the party should not be deregistered.
ii. If a party fails to
• Rectify the omission; or
• Does not convince the Registrar that the infraction was not the result of any negligence or lack of good faith on its part within ninety days, the Registrar may deregister the party. If a registered party becomes deregistered, the Registrar will publish a notice of deregistration in the Kenya Gazette. This notice will specify the effective date of deregistration.
CHECKLIST FOR APPLICATION FOR PROVISIONAL REGISTRATION
1. Two copies of party constitution (Schedule Two)
2. Form PP 1 (In duplicate duly signed)
3. Form PP 2 (In duplicate duly signed and commissioned)
4. Signed Political Parties Code of Conduct (Schedule One)
5. Signed minutes of the first meeting of the founding members of the political party
6. Ksh 100,000 Bankers Cheque payable to the Registrar of Political Parties.
- Name of the political party and any abbreviation.
- Financial structure and system
- Political party nomination rules
- Provisions on the dissolution of the party
- Logo and symbol of the political party and party colours
CHECKLIST FOR APPLICATION FOR FULL REGISTRATION
1. Form PP 4 (In duplicate duly signed and commissioned)
2. Signed Political Parties Code of Conduct (Schedule One)
3. Attached Certificate of Full or Provisional Registration.
4. Form PP 5 (In duplicate duly signed)
5. Governing body and party members reflect ethnic diversity, gender balance (2/3 shall not be of either gender), representation of minorities and marginalized groups.
6. Location and address of Head office and at least 1 Branch office in each of a majority of the counties (at least 24 branch offices).
7. Lease agreements of all branch offices and a sworn affidavit by the party official that information is true.
8. Database print out showing:
- Not fewer than 1000 members in a majority of the counties (at least 24000 members).
- Members reflect regional and ethnic diversity, gender balance and representation of minorities and marginalized groups.
9. Ksh 500,000 Bankers Cheque payable to the Registrar of Political Parties.
Office of the Registrar of Political Parties Offices
Lion Place 1st Floor, Waiyaki Way
P.O. Box 1131-00600, Sarit Centre Nairobi Kenya
Tel: +254 (0)204272000