NO MORE DEGREES NEEDED FOR GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATES

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The high court has nullified the law that requires governors to have a degree to be eligible to vie. Justice Antony Mrima has declared section 22(2) of the elections act as unconstitutional. The Act states that “A person may be nominated as a candidate for election as President, Deputy President, County Governor or deputy County Governor only if the person is a holder of a degree from a university recognized in Kenya.” In his ruling, Justice Mrima ruled that section 22(2) of the Election Act which requires gubernatorial aspirants to have a degree before being cleared to vie contravenes Article 180(2) of the constitution.

Article 180(2) of the constitution provides that to be eligible for election as county governor, a person must be eligible for election as a member of the county assembly. Currently, according to the Elections Act for one to be eligible to vie for the seat of the Members of the County Assembly you only require a KCSE certificate. Justice Mrima argued that since Article 180(2) of the constitution provides that the eligibility of the county governor and that of the member of the county assembly to be the same, the election Act cannot, therefore, differentiate the two.

The ruling will however take effect in the next general election to avert a litany of cases by aspirants in the 2022 general elections who were locked out due to lack of degree requirement.

Justice Mrima ruled that the petition was filed late and hence the impugned act cannot take effect backwards having recently conducted the general election.

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