IEBC: candidates for all political seats must have a university degree to live in 2022

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Kenyans without a university degree will no longer be able to run for political office in the 2022 general election.

On Monday, IEBC President Wafula Chebukati said Article 22 of the Election Law, which requires candidates for six elected seats to hold a diploma, will come into force next year.

The amended section of the law was due to be implemented in 2017, but was postponed to 2022 to allow candidates for MP and MCA positions to acquire the required academic qualifications.

“We follow the law and the electoral law clearly states that all candidates for the six elective positions must have a university degree in order to be able to qualify to stand for election,” Chebukati said.

Chebukati, who spoke at the launch of the IEBC’s annual Voter Education Week at Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi, said the commission would work with professional bodies to deal with cases of false academic documents before next year’s elections.

“We are in a country where cases of bogus degrees are common and we have commitments with the Kenya National Qualifications Authority and the Commission for University Education to verify academic certifications,” he added.

He said that political candidates’ academic documents will be subject to authentication before being presented by candidates to the IEBC.

In the 2017 election, only presidential candidates and running mate as well as governors and their running mate were required to have diplomas.

Some current MPs and MCAs who do not hold a university degree risk being barred from defending their seats.

County Assemblies Forum chairman Ndegwa Wahome last year vowed to oppose law enforcement.

“We have taken a very firm position that sovereignty and the power to elect belong to the people under Article 1 of the Constitution. We have said that article 22 of the electoral law is subsidiary to article 1, ”said Wahome.

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