Constitution of Kenya 2010

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The Constitution envisages a political party as an association of persons with a goal of influencing, or forming a government. Articles 91 and 92 provide for the basic requirements for political parties and legislation of political parties respectively. The two Articles deal with the basic requirements of political parties and provide for enactment of a dedicated legislation to regulate political parties. The Constitution embodies the principles and values that seeks to institutionalize political parties.

Article 4(2) provides that Kenya is a multi-party democratic state founded on the national values and principles of governance, democracy and participation of the people, non-discrimination, and protection of marginalized groups. The objective of the Constitution is that parties must have a national character and integrate good governance through an elected governing body. The Constitution also envisages parties that promote national values through respect of minorities and marginalized groups and respect the rule of law.

Article 38 under the Bill of Rights guarantees the rights to make political choices including the right to: form, or participate in the forming of a political party; participate in the activities of, or recruit members for, a political party; and campaign for a political party or cause. Article 36 guarantees the freedom of association. These articles under the Bill of Rights are important in view of the provisions under Article 91(1) which provides for specific requirements for registration of political parties. In essence, the Constitution balances the policy choices of free exercise of political rights and the significance of political parties in fostering nation building.

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