Qualifications for a Member Of Parliament

Kenyans elect a Member of Parliament every five years. Article 1 of the Constitution says that all sovereign power belongs to the people of Kenya. The people may exercise their sovereign power either directly or through their democratically elected representatives.

Therefore, the people delegate this sovereign power under the Constitution to parliament as a state organ. A Member of Parliament exercises this sovereign power at the national level. They play three key roles. These are the representation, legislation, and oversight.

For representation, they should promote the interests of the people who elected them. For legislation, they should make and amend laws in parliament. They should also play oversight over the Executive arm of the government and other state organs.

The oversight function ensures transparency and accountability. They also have a role in budget allocation where they play a key role in resource sharing by determining what each government ministry, department, and agency gets.

There are two ways a person can become a member of parliament in Kenya: through election or by nomination (from political parties).

The term Member of Parliament (MP) refers to the Senators, Women Representatives, and Members of the National Assembly. The term also refers to both elected and nominated members.

A Member of Parliament (MP) is eligible for election for a five-year term and can be re-elected as many times as possible since there are no term limits for MPs in Kenya.

Qualifications for a Member of Parliament in Kenya

What are the qualifications for becoming a Member of Parliament in Kenya? To qualify as a candidate for the position of a Member of Parliament in Kenya, you must:

  • be a Kenyan citizen for at least 10 years before the election;
  • not hold dual citizenship (unless, according to IEBC, the citizenship of the other country has been obtained by operation of law without the capacity to opt-out);
  • not owe allegiance to a foreign state;
  • be a registered voter;
  • be nominated by a Political Party or is an independent candidate.
  • meet the statutory moral and ethical requirements under the Leadership and Integrity Act;
  • not be a public officer or acting in any State of public office other than a Member of Parliament;
  • not be an undischarged bankrupt;
  • not be a person of unsound mind;
  • not be subject to a sentence of imprisonment of at least six months from the date of registration of candidates or date of elections;
  • not have been found to have abused or misused state or public office or contravened Chapter Six of the Constitution; and
  • not have been dismissed or removed from public office for contravening the provisions of Articles 75, 76, 77 and 78 of the Constitution

To qualify for the position of a member of parliament in Kenya, you must also be at least 18 years of age.

The educational requirements for an MP in Kenya is a university degree from a recognized university. This will take effect in the 2022 general elections and beyond unless the law is amended before then.

Requirements for the position of a Member of Parliament in Kenya

The requirements for the position of a Member of Parliament are different depending on the Senators, Women Representatives and Members of the National Assembly. Follow the links below to learn more about the different requirements for each position:

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George Githinji

I love writing content that is insightful and informative. The articles I write have a common #1 goal: Keeping it as simple as possible for users to understand the content.

21 thoughts on “Qualifications for a Member Of Parliament”

  1. Hi, is it a must to be a degree holder? What about those currently in campus pursuing a degree, but before they graduate, elections happen and they want to vie?

      • So according to the provisions, even a fourth-year student cannot vie awaiting completion of the year or graduation?

        • At the moment, that is correct. You must provide a degree certificate from a recognised university in Kenya. That is unless the regulations change.

  2. Is it mandatory that you should be a degree holder for you to be a member of the national assembly?

  3. Members of Parliament play a great role in this country. A leader is always born. They don’t need all that…only blessings from God.

  4. The minimum age requirement to vie for the MP seat in 2022?

  5. “..not hold dual citizenship (unless, according to IEBC, the citizenship of the other country has been obtained by operation of law without the capacity to opt-out);” Kindly elaborate.

  6. I am not commanding, but I suggest that any person willing to vie for MP seat should be a degree holder so that he or she comes up with effective decisions and perform government functions with a lot of experience. Only the learned are prone to do research and solve the various problems facing Kenyan citizens.

    • In my own understanding, true leadership which is God-given does not require a degree, but for purposes of being a politician, a degree is necessary. That’s my take.

  7. Very resourceful. And this is coming from a law student. Thanks for the much-needed info.


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