Kenya Election

Understanding Kenya's New Ballot Choices

The returning officer for Mvita Constituency, Mombasa,  Gabriel Mwalenga, right, explains to registered voters how the ballot boxes will be used in the forthcoming general elections during an election mock voting exercise organized by the IEBC and sponsorThe returning officer for Mvita Constituency, Mombasa, Gabriel Mwalenga, right, explains to registered voters how the ballot boxes will be used in the forthcoming general elections during an election mock voting exercise organized by the IEBC and sponsor
x
The returning officer for Mvita Constituency, Mombasa,  Gabriel Mwalenga, right, explains to registered voters how the ballot boxes will be used in the forthcoming general elections during an election mock voting exercise organized by the IEBC and sponsor
The returning officer for Mvita Constituency, Mombasa, Gabriel Mwalenga, right, explains to registered voters how the ballot boxes will be used in the forthcoming general elections during an election mock voting exercise organized by the IEBC and sponsor
TEXT SIZE - +
Kenyans who go to the polls on March 4 will be voting for six different positions, more than in any previous election.
 
Under the new constitution, government operates at two levels – national and county. Voters will be electing the members of the executive and legislative (parliamentary) arms at both levels of government.
 
According to the head of the constitution writing team, Ekuru Aukot, the point of this “devolution” of government was to correct the wrongs left over from years of colonial rule and the legacy of former Kenyan leaders who consolidated power in the central government and in their own tribes. He says one of the concepts of devolution is “that level of inclusiveness, making every part of Kenya relevant to the governance of the country.”
 
Additional constitutional changes impacting this election:

- The president and cabinet members cannot also serve as members of parliament, as part of the separation of powers among the executive, legislative and judiciary arms of government.

- The National Parliament is split into two houses, the Senate and the National Assembly.
 
The six positions up for election are:

President
National level, executive
 
The president serves as head of state and government, and is the commander-in-chief of the Kenya Defence Forces and chairperson of the National Security Council. The president nominates and appoints cabinet members and oversees government ministries and departments.

National Assembly Representative
National level, legislative 
 
The National Assembly is responsible for making national laws and allocating national revenue between the levels of government. Voters will choose 290 representatives, representing each of the country’s constituencies.
 
In addition to the elected positions, the National Assembly has 12 seats dedicated to represent special interests, which will be nominated by the parties in proportion to the number of seats won in the election. The assembly members will also elect one speaker.

Women Representative
National level, legislative
 
In addition to the constituency representatives and special interest seats, 47 women will be elected to the National Assembly as women representatives – one women representative for each county. Only women may stand for these positions.

Senator
National level, legislative
 
The Senate is the other of the two houses making up the National Parliament, and represents the counties.  It is responsible for making laws for the county government and allocating national revenue among counties.
 
Voters will elect 47 senators – one for each county. 
 
In addition to the elected positions, the Senate will have 16 women members, decided through party nominations in proportion to the number of seats won in the election, 2 members representing youth, 2 members representing persons with disabilities, and a speaker elected by the members.

County Governor
County level, executive
 
The governor heads the executive at the county level and oversees county administration and departments.

County Assembly Ward Representative
County level, legislative
 
The County Assembly makes laws for the county, and each ward elects one person to represent them in the assembly.

Additional members of the County Assembly are nominated by political parties in proportion to the number of seats won in the election.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid