3 Things You Need to Know to Participate in Party Primaries
The Political Parties Act requires that political parties hold party primaries at least 60 days before the election day. This means that during election years, parties will be holding their primaries by the end of May. This process determines the aspirants who carry the party flags on for various elective posts during the August General Elections.
Party primaries provide an opportunity for members of political parties to nominate aspirants of their choice to appear on the ballot papers for different elective posts. If you are looking to participate in party primaries, here’s what you need to know:
1. You must be a Member of a Political Party
To participate in any party’s nomination, you need to be a registered member of that party. According to the law, you cannot exercise your democratic rights at the nomination level by participating in party primaries for a party which you are not a member. Most parties rush to ensure they beat the requirement of registering at least 1000 people per 24 counties yet they do not enter them in their register. This could make it difficult to prove membership for persons who want to participate in party primaries.
2. Your Name must be on the Party Register
Members of political parties whose names do not appear on the party register cannot participate in party primaries. In some occasions, the names of registered party members may be omitted from the party register as a result of failing to regularly update the register. Political parties are expected to come up with clear registers that can easily be verified and used to clear members to participate in party primaries. The Office of the Registrar of Political Parties has a responsibility to ensure authenticity of political party registers.
3. You Must be a Registered Voter
Registering as a voter is key when it comes to democracy. It is therefore a rule in Kenya that in order to exercise your democratic rights by participating in any kind of voting, you must be a registered voter. This includes voting in general elections, referenda and in this case, political party primaries.