NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 16 – Political parties formed after the enactment of the Political Parties Act last year are not bound by the April 30 deadline to apply for full registration.
According to the Acting Registrar Lucy Ndung’u, the deadline only applies to parties that were registered prior to the commencement of the Act in November last year.
Ndung’u told Capital FM News that all newly formed parties have 180 days upon receipt of the provisional registration certificate to comply with the Act and apply for full registration.
“Those bound by the deadline are those that were registered under the Political Parties Act of 2007. All those formed after the 2011 Act have 180 days after we issue the provisional certificates,” she elaborated.
Among the parties that were formed and registered after the Act was passed are the Party of Action (POA party) and William Ruto’s United Republican Party (URP).
Section 5 (3) of the Political Parties Act provides that: “A political party that has been provisionally registered under subsection (2) shall, not later than one hundred and eighty days from the date of provisional registration, apply to the Registrar for full registration.
The Act also provides under Article 7(4) that “The Registrar shall, within thirty days of an application under subsection (2), issue a certificate of full registration to a provisionally registered political party which has fulfilled the conditions of full registration.”
According to the Act, the provisional registration of a political party which has not applied for full registration lapses at the expiry of 180 days from the date the provisional certificate is issued.
On Monday however, United Republican Party (URP) officials presented their papers to the registrar who congratulated the party for applying for registration way ahead of their six month deadline.
The party was formed and launched in January 2012 but URP received its provisional registration on March 1.
“Within 30 days we will verify the documents, URP is not an original party as per the law, they had six months from March 1 and so they have complied very early,” she said amid cheers from the URP members.
Interim chairman Francis Ole Kaparo said that URP will hold its grassroots elections two months after it receives the certificate of full registration. Kaparo assured all aspirants that the elections will be transparent.
The party formed by Ruto has so far recruited members in 34 counties and so far has 25 county offices.
The registrar also received papers from the Progressive Party of Kenya led by former public service minister Moses Akaranga, the Conservative Party and the Maendeleo Democratic Party.
Akaranga maintained that his party is committed to providing the leadership required to tackle problems like unemployment and corruption and called on the registrar to be firm on the adherence to the law.
Political parties have for the last two months rushed to comply with the law to avoid deregistration after the expiry of the deadline.
So far, Narc Kenya, the Labour Party of Kenya, the National Vision Party, the Party of Action and the Grand National Union party are fully registered.
Among conditions that parties ought to meet before full registration include the recruitment of members who are registered voters from each of more than half of the counties.
The members recruited should reflect regional and ethnic diversity, gender balance and representation of minorities and marginalised groups.