Elective Positions for County Governments in Kenya

The elective positions for the county government in Kenya involve representing the people at the county level. Article 1 of the Constitution of Kenya stipulates 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, Kenya being a representative (or indirect) democracy, Kenyans elect representatives to the county government to represent their interests. The elective positions for the county government in Kenya are in the county executive and the county assembly.

The people of the Republic of Kenya delegate their sovereign power to these representatives at the county level. These representatives, in turn, exercise the people’s sovereign power at the county level.

Elective Positions for the County Government

The elective positions for the county government in Kenya are the:

  • County Governor (and the Deputy Governor), and
  • Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) also known as Ward Representatives.

1. The Executive

The County Governor and the Deputy Governor form the elective position for the executive arm of the county government. The people elect the governor and the deputy governor on a single (or joint) ticket.

To qualify for the position of the county governor in Kenya (and the deputy governor), 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 a holder of a degree from a University recognized in Kenya;
  • be nominated by a Political Party or is an independent candidate;
  • be eligible for election as a member of the county assembly;
  • meet the statutory moral and ethical requirements under the Leadership and Integrity Act;
  • not be a public officer or acting in any State or public office other than a member of the County Assembly;
  • 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.

In addition, to qualify for the position of a county governor in Kenya (and the deputy governor), you must be at least 18 years of age. The Kenyan Constitution does not have an upper age limit for elective positions. A county governor is only eligible for two consecutive terms of five years.

To learn more about the governorship as an elective position, see the qualifications for a governor and the deputy governor.

2. The Assembly

The Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) form the the elective position for the assembly arm of the county government.

To qualify to vie for the position of the Member of the County Assembly, 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 the County Assembly;
  • 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.

The minimum age limit to vie for the position of a member of the county assembly in Kenya is 18 years. There is no maximum age limit.

A university degree from a university recognised in Kenya is also a requirement for Members of County Assembly in 2022 according to Section 22 of the Elections Act (unless the law is amended before then).

A Ward Representative 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 MCAs in Kenya. For more about this elective position, see the qualifications for a Member of the County Assembly.

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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.