The National Assembly of the Republic of Kenya is the lower house of the Parliament of Kenya. Between 1966 and 2013, it served as a unicameral house. In 2013 (11th Parliament), it became the lower house when the Senate was reestablished. It has a total of 349 seats: 290 elected from the constituencies, 47 women elected from the counties and 12 nominated representatives. The Speaker of the National Assembly of Kenya serves as an ex officio member. The High Court of Kenya ordered lawmakers to introduce gender quotas, or face dissolution in the mid-2010s, following the implementation of the 2010 Constitution What are the Qualifications for election as a Member of the National Assembly in Kenya? The qualifications for the position of a Member of the National Assembly in Kenya ensure that all interested candidates are suitable for the position. There are two ways a person can become a member of the National Assembly in Kenya, through election or by nomination (from political parties).
This article deals with the qualifications for the members of the National Assembly who are elected to represent the Constituencies.
A Member of the National Assembly (MNA) is eligible for election for a five-year term and can be re-elected as many times as possible since there are no term limits for MPs in Kenya.
National Assembly of the Republic of Kenya
of the Parliament of Kenya
||Legislative Council of Kenya
Justin Muturi, Jubilee
since 28 March 2013
Moses Cheboi, Jubilee
since 31 August 2017
Samuel Porgisio, Jubilee
since 2 June 2020
John Mbadi, NASA
since 8 August 2017
Emmanuel Wangwe, Jubilee
since 2 June 2020
Jubilee Party (172)
National Super Alliance (125)
Other parties and independents (51)
|8 August 2017
|Parliament buildings, Nairobi, Kenya
Qualifications For A Member Of The National Assembly
To qualify as a candidate for the position of a Member of the National Assembly in Kenya, you must:
- be a Kenyan citizen for at least 10 years before the election;
- not hold dual citizenship (unless, according to IEBC, the citizenship of the other country has been obtained by operation of law without the capacity to opt-out);
- not owe allegiance to a foreign state;
- be a registered voter;
- be nominated by a Political Party or is an independent candidate.
- meet the statutory moral and ethical requirements under the Leadership and Integrity Act;
- not be a public officer or acting in any State of public office other than a Member of Parliament;
- not be an undischarged bankrupt;
- not be a person of unsound mind;
- not be subject to a sentence of imprisonment of at least six months from the date of registration of candidates or date of elections;
- not have been found to have abused or misused state or public office or contravened Chapter Six of the Constitution; and
- not have been dismissed or removed from public office for contravening the provisions of Articles 75, 76, 77 and 78 of the Constitution
To qualify for the position of a Member of the National Assembly in Kenya, you must also be at least 18 years of age. There is no maximum age requirement.
A university degree from a university recognised in Kenya is also a requirement in 2022 general elections according to Section 22 of the Elections Act (unless the law is amended before then).
Requirements For The Position Of A Member Of The National Assembly
A party candidate or an independent candidate should submit certain documents to IEBC during the nomination process. The party or independent candidate can also authorize an agent to do so on their behalf.
The candidate should present a certified copy of a national identity card or a valid passport. Either should be the document the candidate used to register as a voter. The candidate should also submit a passport size photograph of themselves.
If the candidate was a public officer, he or she should submit a letter of discharge from their employer. The letter should confirm that he or she was not an employee six months before the election date. However, this requirement does not apply to any elected representatives.
For a party candidate, the candidate should submit to IEBC a nomination certificate from a fully registered political party. The political party should be the one nominating the candidate. An authorized official in the party should duly sign the letter.
The party or independent candidate, or their authorized agent, should submit a duly signed code of conduct. The Second Schedule of the Elections Act (2011) contains the electoral code of conduct.
Commission Nomination Form 15
The candidate or their authorized agent should also submit a duly filled Commission Nomination Form 15. The form should contain the following information:
- An original Statutory Declaration Form made no earlier than one month before the nomination day. This is in accordance with Regulation 18(3) of the Elections (General) Regulations, 2012.
- An original Self-Declaration Form as prescribed in the First Schedule of the Leadership and Integrity Act, 2012. The form is in accordance with Regulation 46 of the Elections (General) Regulations, 2012.
- the names of a proposer and a seconder who shall be registered voters. For a party candidate, the proposer and seconder must be members of the candidate’s party (Regulation 38(b) of the Elections (General) Regulations, 2012). In the case of an Independent Candidate, the proposer and seconder must not be members of any political party (Regulation 39(c) of the Elections (General) Regulations, 2012).
Additional Requirements For Independent Candidates
Independent candidates must also meet some additional requirements to qualify to vie for the position of a member of the National Assembly in Kenya.
They should get a clearance certificate from the Registrar of Political Parties. The certificate should indicate that the person was not a member of any political party for the last three months before the election date. (Regulation 15(a) of the Elections (General) Regulations, 2012).
The independent candidates should have a duly filled Form of Intention to Contest in the prescribed form. (Regulation 15(b) of the Elections (General) Regulations, 2012) Qualifications for election as a Member of the National Assembly in Kenya
Every independent candidate must have a soft and a hard copy of a list of at least 1000 supporters in the prescribed form. They should submit the list to the Constituency Returning Officer by a date IEBC prescribes.
A symbol the candidate intends to use during the election is also an additional requirement. IEBC should approve the symbol in accordance with Section 32 of the Elections Act, 2011.
The independent candidates should set up and maintain functioning offices within Kenya. Each of the offices must be available for IEBC to inspect by a certain date the Commission prescribes. The candidates should communicate the address (including physical address) of the offices to the Commission. (Regulation 20(1) and (2) of the Elections (General) Regulations, 2012).
(1) Unless disqualified under clause (2), a person is eligible for election as a member of Parliament if the person
(a) is registered as a voter;
(b) satisfies any educational, moral and ethical requirements prescribed by this Constitution or by an Act of Parliament; and
(c) is nominated by a political party, or is an independent candidate who is supported–
(i) in the case of election to the National Assembly, by at least one thousand registered voters in the constituency; or
(ii) in the case of election to the Senate, by at least two thousand registered voters in the county.
(2) A person is disqualified from being elected a member of Parliament if the person–
(a) is a State officer or other public officer, other than a member of Parliament;
(b) has, at any time within the five years immediately preceding the date of 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 election;
(d) is a member of a county assembly;
(e) is of unsound mind;
(f) is an undischarged bankrupt;
(g) is subject to a sentence of imprisonment of at least six months, as at the date of registration as a candidate, or at the date of election; or
(h) is found, in accordance with any law, to have misused or abused a State office or public office or in any way to have contravened Chapter Six. Qualifications for election as a Member of the National Assembly in Kenya
(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.
Nomination Fees For The Position Of A Member Of The National Assembly
The nomination fees should be in the form of a Banker’s Cheque payable to the IEBC. The fee is:
- KES 10,000 for a candidate who is a woman, a person with disability or youth. Youth means an adult below the age of 35 years.
- KES 20,000 for any other candidate.
House Keeping committees
- House Business Committee: creates Parliamentary calendar; schedules committee business; issues directives and guidelines to prioritise or postpone any business of the House.
- Procedure & House Rules Committee: proposes rules for the orderly and effective conduct of committee business.
- Liaison Committee: guides and co-ordinates the operations, policies and mandates of all committees.
- Committee on Selection: nominates members to serve in committees.
- Committee on Members Services & Facilities.
- Public Accounts Committee: responsible for the examination of the accounts showing the appropriations of the sum voted by the House to meet the public expenditure and of such other accounts
- Public Investments Committee: examines the reports and accounts of public investments
Special Funds Accounts Committee: examines the reports and accounts of national Funds except the National Governments Constituency Development Fund (NGCDF)
- Defence and Foreign Relations Committee: Defence, intelligence, foreign relations diplomatic and consular services, international boundaries, international relations, agreements, treaties and conventions
- Administration and National Security Committee: National security, police services, home affairs, public administration, public service, prisons, immigration and the management of natural disasters, community service orders
- Agriculture & Livestock Committee: Agriculture, livestock, irrigation, fisheries development, co-operatives development, production and marketing
- Environment and Natural Resources Committee: Matters relating to climate change, environment management and conservation, forestry, water resource management, wildlife, mining and natural resources, pollution and waste management
- Education & Research Committee: Education, training, research and technological advancement
- Energy Committee: Fossil fuels exploration, Development, production, maintenance and regulation of energy, communication, information, broadcasting and Information Communications Technology (ICT) development and management
- Finance and Planning: Public finance, monetary policies, public debt, financial institutions, investment and divestiture policies, pricing policies, banking, insurance, population, revenue policies, planning, national development, trade, tourism promotion and management, commerce and industry
- Health Committee: Matters related to health, medical care and health insurance
- Justice and Legal Affairs Committee: Constitutional affairs, the administration of law and justice, including the Judiciary, public prosecutions, elections, ethics, integrity and anti-corruption and human rights
- Labour and Social Welfare Committee: Labour, trade union relations, manpower or human resource planning, gender, culture and social welfare, youth, National Youth Service children’s welfare; national heritage, betting, lotteries and sports
- Lands Committee: Matters related to lands and settlement
- Transport, Public Works and Housing Committee: Transport, roads, public works, construction and maintenance of roads, rails and buildings, air, seaports and housing
- Trade, Industry and Cooperatives Committee
- Communication, Information and Innovation Committee
Other Select committees:
- Budget and Appropriations Committee: investigates, inquires into and reports on all matters related to co-ordination, control and monitoring of the national budget; examines the Budget Policy Statement; examines bills related to the national budget, specifically the Appropriations Bill, the Supplementary Appropriation Bill, the Division of Revenue Bill and the County Allocation of Revenue Bill
- Committee on Implementation: responsible for scrutinising the resolutions of the House (including adopted committee reports), petitions and the undertakings given by the National Executive
- Committee on Delegated Legislation: delegates on statutory instruments submitted to the Assembly
- Committee on Regional Integration: examine the records of all the relevant debates and resolutions of the meetings of the East African Legislative Assembly; inquires into and examines any other matter relating to regional integration generally requiring action by the House
- Committee on Appointments:
- National Government Constituency Development Fund Committee
- Constitution Implementation Oversight Committee
- Pensions Committee
- Committee on National Cohesion and Equal Opportunity
- Parliamentary Broadcasting and Library Committee