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
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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid