Lobbyists back calls for academic qualifications

Friday, October 29th, 2021 00:00 | By
Constitution of Kenya. Photo/Courtesy

A group of lobbyists have backed calls by the electoral commission to have to have parliament to prescribe the level of qualification or education standards to be met by candidates seeking elective seats in the 2022 General-Election.

They cited Article 99 (1) (b) which stipulates that the people of Kenya have envisaged that a person would not be eligible to run for certain office if they did not meet the criteria set by parliament.

“While we do not support any assertion that equates good leadership with academic qualifications, we support the letter and spirit of the Constitution and the Elections Act of 2011 that provides for a basis/minimum academic qualification,” Mule Musa, the National Coordinator, Elections Observation Group (ELOG) and Caroline Gaita, Executive Director, Mzalendo Trust, said in a joint communique to the Senate.

Educational threshold

“Section 22 of the Elections Act was enacted by Parliament pursuant to the provisions of the Article 99 (1) (b), of the Constitution, this article envisages a situation where Parliament prescribes an educational threshold for those who seek to be elected as members’ parliament as well as members of the County assembly,” they added.

 They spoke on Wednesday when they appeared before the Senate committee on Justice, Legal Affairs and Human rights considering three bills that seeks to quash a law requiring contestants for MP and MCA seats to have a university degree qualification is set to take effect in the 2022 general election.

The law, whose implementation date has been postponed several times, is set to take effect in 2022.

Members of the National Assembly in 2017 amended section 22 of the Election Act that prescribes minimum academic qualifications for lawmakers at both levels of government.

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