, NAIROBI, Kenya, April 14 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) will hold forums on the registration and operation of political parties in a 10-day public sensitization initiative starting on Monday.
The sensitization program is co-sponsored by IEBC and the National Democratic Institute (NDI).
Meetings will be held in all 47 counties across Kenya to instruct the public on issues such as the implication of the new constitution on political parties, democracy and elections, promotion of national unity, party democracy, human rights, gender equality and registration compliance.
The Constitution under Article 33(1) (a) gives Kenyans freedom to seek, receive or impart information or ideas, while Article 91 provides for the role and responsibilities of political parties.
The Registrar of Political Parties (RPP) is mandated by the Political Parties Act section 34(f) to ensure that no person is a member of more than one political party and to administer the Political Parties Fund.
In pursuit of guaranteeing these provisions, the commission through the office of the RPP intends to conduct sensitisation on the rights of citizens to join political parties and the role of political parties to the public ahead of the general elections.
The Constitution of Kenya 2010 recognises political parties as corporate and public institutions that should be regulated and managed in accordance with democratic values and principles.
Political parties are required to recruit no fewer than 1,000 members who are registered voters in more than half of the counties.
They are also required to promote the participation of women, youth, and persons with disabilities in their structures and political processes.
Party registrations close on the 30th of April and so far only NARC-Kenya, the National Vision Party (NVP), the Labour Party of Kenya (LPK) and the Grand National Union of Kenya have fully complied with the registration requirement, while 24 others have presented their papers for registration.