FACT: DITCHING A POLITICAL PARTY IN KENYA TRANSLATES TO LOSING YOUR ELECTIVE POSITION
Written by Celine Abuga & Odhiambo Shem on October 29, 2021
There have been tendency of elected leaders in Kenya hopping from one party to another after gaining seats.
These has raises questions among Kenyans whether the leaders should continue holding their positions or seek re-elections with their new parties.
A constitutional lawyer Tom Nduku said that the Kenyan constitution is being compromised by leaders as they take advantage of leaving parties anyhow.
He said that once an elected leader ditches a party that he/ she used to gain the seat, they should seek re-election through their new political parties.
Currently we have seen some leaders such as the Deputy President William Ruto who ditched Jubilee party for United Democratic Alliance (UDA), Malindi MP-Aisha Jumwa who ditched ODM for UDA and most recently Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru leaving Jubilee for UDA yet they still hold their elective positions.
We looked into this as per the Kenyan constitution and found that these leaders are going against the rule of law.
The 2010 Constitution provision was introduced partly as part of a whole group of measures to try to produce — or at least encourage — effective, policy-based and disciplined political parties. It is intended to discourage party hopping, at least once someone has been elected.
It applies to anyone who is elected as an independent – with no party – and then joins a party, as well as those who leave a party.
The phrase used in the Constitution is that a member who “resigns” from their party loses their seat (Article 103(e)). A member could also be treated as having resigned in some other circumstances – set out in the Political Parties Act, more details: https://katibainstitute.org/legislators-losing-seats-for-leaving-party-the-history/
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