, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 6 – A Kenyan citizen has petitioned the National Assembly seeking to have a vetting board clear all presidential candidates before they are cleared to participate in a General Election.
National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi informed the House that Peter Kimani Runo, is seeking the establishment of the board which will set out statutory requirements based on experience, integrity and accountability.
“The petitioner affirms that the position of the President of the Republic requires a person who is of high morals, demonstrated integrity and who possesses public service experience in appointed or elective position. In this regard the petitioner prays that the National Assembly provides in law, minimum requirements based on experience, integrity and accountability and establishes a statutory vetting board whose mandate shall be to vet all presidential candidates prior to clearance by the IEBC,” the House Speaker said as he read the petition.
The petitioner further specifies that the board should be in place by the time the country goes to the 2022 polls.
Muturi referred the petition to the House Justice and Legal Affairs Committee despite noting that the Constitution already provides for the grounds for the disqualification of a presidential candidate.
“Article 137 of the constitution provides for the basic requirement for the election as President and grounds for disqualification but since it is the right of the petitioner to petition the House, notwithstanding the various Constitution provisions, the committee is required to examine the prayers contained in this petition with a view of proposing amendment to Article 137 of the constitution,” the Speaker directed.
The law in Article 137 (1) currently states that a person qualifies for nomination as a presidential candidate if the person; is a citizen by birth, is qualified to stand for election as a Member of Parliament; is nominated by a political party, or is an independent candidate; and is nominated by not fewer than two thousand voters from each of a majority of the counties.
The legislation further states a person is not qualified for nomination as a presidential candidate if the person; owes allegiance to a foreign state; or is a public officer, or is acting in any State or other public office.