The Office of Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP) held a one-day workshop to sensitize political parties’ representatives on ORPP’s checklist to guide the review of elections and nomination rules. The forum held on 17th September, 2021 in Nairobi, also provided a platform for the Office continued streak of engagement with political parties on millstones made in upgrading the Integrated Political Parties System (IPPMS).
Larger responsibilities required of political parties in the realization of Constitutional principles on matters pertain to; integrity of leaders, representation of marginalized groups and free and fair elections was put premium in developing of the guideline. The development of the checklist is also hinged on the spelt out submission to Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). For instance, it is requirement for nomination rules 6 months before party nominations, party membership lists required 120 days before party nominations as well as deadline for submission of party primaries candidates whose timeline is by 9th April, 2022
“Party nominations are one of the key processes in the electoral process during which parties set out basis for good governance through their choice of candidates. Strong and sustainable political parties are imperative for the development of an open and democratic state since they represent citizens and provide policy choices that demonstrate their ability to govern for the public good”, noted Acting Director Compliance, Juliet Murimi during her presentation.
A host of elements are contained in the checklist. Some them are: party nomination and conduct of governing organs; eligibility and term of office; qualifications and identification aspirants/party officials/independent persons ; varied timelines ; affirmative action policies; procedure for election of party officials; procedure for nomination of candidates into party lists; Code of Conduct & action for breach; campaigns; dispute resolution mechanisms; schedule fees among others.
“The development of checklist is to provide bare minimum on elections hence the need for the parties to relook their election and nomination rules with the objective to realigning them with the developed checklist”, urged Ali Surraw Assistant Registrar. Her counterpart, Assistant Registrar, CPA Florence Birya noting the office commitment to continue engaging and guiding parties on pertinent issues ahead of the forthcoming general election.
Registrar of Political Parties, Ann Nderitu, noted that the development of the critical guide was borne out of the need to address gaps identified in the development and submission of elections and nomination rules prior to submission to the IEBC. “The ultimate goal of this effort as an Office is to promote fairness in party primaries. We therefore, encourage your feedback on the document to better serve this purpose”, observed the Registrar. She further cautioned that intended changes in political parties must be made before end of October to have ample time for them to prepare for the 2022 general election. “ ORPP will not tolerate any party falling short of minimum requirements such as maintaining functional, offices; embracing good practices in all governing organs, adhering to the minimum party membership among others”, the Registrar guided.
The Registrar of political Parties, AnneNderitu,speaks during the official opening the workshop at Jacaranda hotel, Westlands, Nairobi.
She further guided on the efforts the Office was making in digitizing membership management by on-boarding the service on E-citizen platform, a process anticipated piloting in October before full roll-out.
On the progress on legal reforms, the Registrar informed of consultative engagements it had had with varied stakeholders including the Office of the Attorney General and other government players towards finalizing the Draft Political Parties (Amendment) Bill 2021 and Draft (Political Parties Membership Regulations 2021.