Political Parties Act
For many years, there was no specific law governing political parties in Kenya. The absence of an effective legal framework for the registration, regulation, management and funding of political parties meant that political parties were personal outfits without legal personality or perpetual succession. Basically, political parties belonged to individuals and some people speculatively formed parties with the aim of selling them for monetary gain. There was therefore no legal framework for promoting democratic inclusion of the people in government.
The Act came into force on 1st July, 2008 and the Office of Registrar of Political Parties was established. All Political Parties registered under the Societies Act were required to register afresh under the new law within 180 days. This led to the reduction of political parties registered from 168 to 47 by 2009.
The passing of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 introduced a new paradigm for management and administration of political parties. It recognizes political parties as important institutions in the promotion of democracy. The Constitution not only guarantees the right to freedom of association of every person and the right to freely make political choices including the right to form and participate in the activities of a political party but also sets out basic requirements for political parties and requires Parliament to enact legislation to provide for key aspects with regard to political parties (see the Chapter below). Following this Constitutional requirement, the Political Parties Act, 2011 was enacted.
Popular Version of the Political Parties Act (English)
Popular Version Of the Political Parties Act (Kiswahili)