PARTY REGISTRATION

COVID-19: Parties that had applied for full registration in dilemma

Twelve parties had been issued with interim registration certificates

In Summary
  • Registrar of Political Parties has advised parties to devise alternative ways of meeting  requirements
  • Parties seeking full registration have also been asked to comply with government rules to combat the disease.
Political Parties Registrar Ann Nderitu with officials of the Party of Economic Development when she issued them with a certificate of registration at her office in Nairobi on March 19, 2020.
NEW KID: Political Parties Registrar Ann Nderitu with officials of the Party of Economic Development when she issued them with a certificate of registration at her office in Nairobi on March 19, 2020.
Image: COURTESY

Political parties that had applied for full registration are in a dilemma as they rush to comply with the Political Parties Act 2011 in the wake of the coronavirus.

Twelve parties had been issued with interim registration certificates and were in the process of fulfilling the requirements expected of them.

Parties are supposed to meet certain requirements 180 days after getting the interim certificate from the Registrar of Political Parties.

 

To be fully registered, parties are expected to recruit at least 1,000 members in at least 24 counties, open offices in the devolved units and have its headquarters in one more county.

They are also expected to propose governing bodies within the same period.

The requirements are a complement to Constitutional requirements of the formation of political parties with a national outlook.

But tough rules announced by the government to combat the Covid-19 disease could derail efforts by the parties to fulfil requirements expected of them within set deadlines.

The Star has established the office of the Registrar of Political Parties has advised these parties to devise alternative ways of meeting the requirements.

“Parties have been encouraged to devise alternative ways of popularising themselves as they recruit members. This is because there is a ban on public gatherings and parties usually popularise themselves through rallies,” said an official from the Office of Registrar of Political Parties who could not be quoted.

Cabinet Secretary for Health Mutahi Kagwe has emphasised on the need to stay at home to prevent the spread of the disease that has already killed over 16, 000 people across the globe.

Employers have ordered to ensure social distancing is adhered to at workplaces.

Companies have been warned that they will be held responsible if they ignore the rules.

On Monday, the Office of Registrar of Political Parties further indicated that it has asked parties seeking full registration to comply with government rules to combat the disease.

“Parties have been asked to avoid physical contact and if possible recruit members online,” the official said.

He explained that the set deadlines may be reviewed since the disease is both a national and global problem.

Parties that have applied for full registration include Unified Change Party, National Reconstruction Alliance, Umoja Summit Party, Transformation National Alliance Party and Pambazuko Alliance Party.

The others are the Democratic Action Party, Sauti Ya Mwananchi Party, National Ordinary People Empowerment Union, Green Thinking Action Party, Ideal Democratic and Economic Party and The Service Party.

In January, acting Registrar of Political Parties Ann Nderitu dispatched teams to verify details of the 12 parties.

The parties are required to provide verifiable evidence of their established infrastructure across the country.

The teams were sent to the Coast, Lower Eastern, Upper Eastern, Western, Nyanza, Rift Valley, Central and Nairobi regions.

There are 68 fully registered political parties in the country. Office of Registrar of Political Parties has already established seven regional offices in Kisumu, Eldoret, Nyeri, Isiolo, Mombasa, Nakuru and Kitui.