Requirements Necessary to Run for President in Kenya

How to become the president of Kenya

The Dynasty vs Hustlers type of politics dominates Kenya’s political scene. It’s always about who ascends into power and how it is all to often forgotten. From Mzee Jome Kenyatta, Daniel Moi, Mwai Kibaki, to Uhuru Kenyatta, this position has been graced with men of honor who have served the country to their level best.

Well, the presidential seat is arguably the most powerful of all other elective positions, one that is hotly contested by leaders who believe in themselves, backed up by genuine love from the society and enough resources to run the race to the finishing line.

According to the Constitution, The President is the Head of State and Government, the Commander-in-Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces, chairperson of the National Security Council, who exercises the executive authority of the Republic, with the assistance of the Deputy President and Cabinet Secretaries and is a symbol of national unity.

“President shall be elected by registered voters in a national election conducted in accordance with this Constitution and any Act of Parliament regulating presidential elections, who will be tasked with safeguarding the Constitution, the sovereignty of the Republic, promote and enhance the unity of the nation and ensure the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms and the rule of law,” reads a part of the Constitution.

Anyone looking to become the president of Kenya must meet the following qualifications.

Qualifications to be met

  • Must be a Kenyan citizen by birth with no owed allegiance to any foreign state.
  • Must be a registered voter who is qualified to stand for election as a member of Parliament.
  • Must be a degree from a recognized university in Kenya.
  • Must be nominated by a Political Party, or is an Independent candidate.
  • Must not be a public officer or acting in any public office other than as President, Deputy President or Member of Parliament.
  • Must meet the moral and ethical requirements under the Leadership and Integrity Act
  • Must not hold dual citizenship, unless citizenship of the other country has been obtained by operation of law without the capacity to opt-out.
  • Must not be an undischarged bankrupt or be a person of unsound mind.
  • Must not have been found to have abused or misused state or public office, or contravened Chapter Six of the Constitution
  • Must not have been dismissed or removed from public office for contravening the provisions of Articles 75, 76,
    77 and 78 of the Constitution.
  • Must not be subject to a sentence of imprisonment of at least six months from the date of registration of candidates or date of elections.

The party candidate or an independent candidate should also submit certain documents to The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) which is an independent regulatory agency that was founded in 2011 by the Constitution of Kenya during the to oversee the election process. Certified copies of academic qualification certificate, national identity card, among others.

The candidate vying for the presidency should submit a duly filled commission Nomination Form 12 containing a list of at least 2000 supporters from a majority of the counties, together with statutory declaration form and self- declaration form.

Every application for nomination for candidature at a presidential election shall be accompanied by a nomination fee of Ksh 200,000 in the form of a Banker’s Cheque payable to the IEBC. For special interest groups who are candidates from the groups include women, youth, and persons living with disability pay Ksh 100,000.

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Inzillia is an avid reader and researcher on matters finance, business, government affairs, culture, and human interest stories. Poetry too. Email: