Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairperson Wafula Chebukati has listed 17 regulations presidential candidates must follow ahead of the general elections this year.
Chebukati has also officially declared Tuesday, August 9, 2022, as the General Election date, which has also been published in the Kenya Gazette dated Thursday, January 20.
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In a press release sent to newsrooms, Chebukati took note of two instruments of the elections, which he announced have come into force in respect of the elections. They include The Electoral Code of Conduct and The Election Offences Act of 2016.
The Electoral Code of Conduct is anchored on Article 88 (4) (j) of the Constitution that mandates the IEBC to develop a code of conduct for parties and candidates contesting the elections. It aims to promote a conducive environment for the polls exercise to be conducted with freedom and fairness.
Citing Section 110 of the Elections Act No. 24 of 2011, the IEBC explained that every political party and every person who participates in an election or a referendum under the Constitution and this Act shall subscribe to and observe the Electoral Code of Conduct.
The code protects candidates from using hate speech or incitement to cause violence, campaigning in places of worship or during burial ceremonies, copying symbols, colours or acronyms of other political parties, abuse of power among others with harsh penalties for those found culpable.
“The Commission has powers to impose penalties or sanctions for breach of the code including a formal warning, a fine determined by the Commission, prohibit a political party from using any public media time allocated to it, prohibit a political party or candidate from holding public meetings or entering an electoral area to canvas for membership or other electoral purposes and bar a political party from publishing or distributing campaign literature including erecting placards and banners,” read the press release in part.
The Election Offences Act provides for election offences that include use of force or violence during the election period, bribery, undue influence, use of national security organs for political coercion, use of public resources, participation in elections by public officers and breach of the Electoral Code of Conduct.
IEBC also took note of an increase in aspirants using its logo on their campaign posters and billboards, something it termed illegal.
Chebukati in the gazette notice issued the following regulations:
1.An election of the President of the Republic of Kenya shall be held on Tuesday, August 9, 2022.
2. Political Parties shall submit the Party Membership lists to the Commission on or before Saturday, April 9 2022.
3. Political parties intending to present a candidate in the Presidential election shall submit the names of persons contesting in the party primaries, the date and venues of the primaries on or before Saturday, April 9 2022 being 21 days before the nomination day.
4. The Commission shall publish, in the Gazette the names of the persons contesting in a party primary and the date of the party primary within seven (7) days of receipt of the names of the candidates.
5. A political party intending to present a Presidential candidate in this election shall conduct its primaries and resolve intra-party disputes on or before Friday, April 22, 2022.
6. A political party intending to present a Presidential candidate through direct nominations or party primaries shall submit the name of the person nominated to contest in the election to the Commission on or before Thursday, April 28, 2022.
7. Candidates intending to participate in the election as independent candidates shall not be members of any registered political party by Monday, May 2, 2022, being at least three months before the General Election.
8. Candidates intending to participate in this election as independent candidates shall submit their names and symbols that they intend to use during the election to the Commission on or before Monday, May 2, 2022.
9. The Commission shall publish in the Gazette, the names and symbols of persons intending to contest in the election as independent candidates at least fourteen (14) days before the nomination day being on or before Friday, May 13, 2022.
10. A public officer who intends to contest in the General Election shall resign from public office within six (6) months before the date of Election being on or before Wednesday, February 9, 2022.
11. Candidates intending to participate in the Presidential election shall deliver to the Commission a list bearing the names, respective signatures, identity cards or passport numbers of at least 2000 voters registered in each of a majority of the counties on or before Monday, May 23, 2022.
12. The days for the nomination of political party candidates and Independent candidates for the Presidential Election shall be between Sunday, May 29, 2022, and Monday, June 6, 2022.
13. The nomination papers shall be delivered by the candidates, to the Chairperson of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission between the hours of eight o’clock in the morning and one o’clock in the afternoon and between the hours of two O’clock and four O’clock in the afternoon at a place designated by the Commission.
14. Disputes relating to or arising from nominations shall be determined within ten (10) days of the lodging of the dispute with the Commission. The lodging of the dispute shall not be later than Thursday, June 9, 2022.
15. The campaign period for purposes of the August 9, 2022, General Election shall commence on Sunday, May 29, 2022, and cease on Saturday, August 6, 2022, being 48 hours before the General Election Day.
16. The Campaign time shall run from 7.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. during the campaign period.
17. Political parties and candidates shall appoint and submit to the Commission the names of the National and Constituency Chief Election Agents to the Commission on or before Monday, July 25, 2022