A Member of the County Assembly (MCA) or a Ward Representative plays a crucial role in devolution. The Constitution limits the role of a Member of the County Assembly to the county level of governance.
A Member of the County Assembly plays three crucial roles. These 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.
For anyone who wants to vie for the seat of the Member of the County Assembly, there are guidelines to follow. These guidelines are a set of conditions that they must meet to qualify to vie for the seat.
Qualifications for the position of the Member of the County Assembly
To qualify to vie for the position of the Member of the County Assembly, you must:
- be a Kenyan citizen for at least 10 years before the election;
- not hold dual citizenship;
- not owe allegiance to a foreign state;
- be a registered voter;
- be nominated by a Political Party or is an independent candidate.
Requirements for the position of a Member of the County Assembly
A party candidate, an independent candidate, or their authorized agent should submit certain documents to IEBC during the nomination process.
They 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.
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 to 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).
Commission Form 18
The candidate or their agent should submit a duly filled Commission Nomination Form 18, including:
- An original Statutory Declaration Form (Regulation 41 of the Elections (General) Regulations, 2012)
- An original Self-Declaration Form (Regulation 46 of the Elections (General) Regulations, 2012) as prescribed in the First Schedule of the Leadership and Integrity Act, 2012
- The names of a proposer and a seconder who shall be registered voters in the respective electoral area. In the case of 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
There are a few additional requirements for independent candidates intending to vie for the position of a Member of the County Assembly.
They should submit a clearance certificate from the Registrar of Political Parties. The certificate should certify that the person was not a member of any political party for the last three months before the elections. (Regulation 15(a) of the Elections (General) Regulations, 2012).
The candidate or their agent should provide a soft and a hard copy of at least 500 supporters in a form prescribed by IEBC. They should submit the form to the Constituency Returning Officer by a date set aside by IEBC.
They should also provide 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 in accordance with 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.
The nomination fees are payable to the IEBC in form of a bankers cheque. They are:
- KSh2,500 for a candidate who is a woman, a person with a disability or youth. Youth means an adult below the age of 35 years;
- KSh5,000 for any other candidate.