Kenyans will head to the polls on 9 August 2022 to elect a new president. But that is just one of five ballot papers.
They are also voting for members of the national assembly, female national assembly representatives, senators, county representatives and governors – six ballot papers in all – but we will only focus on one.
Kenya has had four presidents since independence in 1964.
Vying for the presidency
Four candidates are running for president in Kenya this month.
Uhuru Kenyatta, Odinga’s former rival, has endorsed Odinga for this year’s election.
Kenyatta defeated Odinga in the 8 August 2017 elections with 54% of the vote compared to Odinga 44.7%. But a court ruling nullified the election results, and it was rerun on 26 October 2017. Kenyatta then won 98% of the vote after Odinga withdrew from the election rerun in protest.
William Ruto, who has been Kenya’s deputy president since 2013, is also a candidate for the presidency this year as a member of the newly formed United Democratic Alliance.
Ruto was previously a member of KANU.
How to become the president in Kenya
Parliamentary and presidential elections are held by secret ballot on the second Tuesday in August every five years.
Registered voters (and candidates) are adult citizens who have “not [been] declared to be of unsound mind” and have not been convicted of an election offence in the last five years.
A person is only elected president of Kenya if:
- They win more than half of the votes in the election
- And win at least 25% of the vote in half of the counties.
After Kenya elects a president, the president cannot hold office for more than two five-year terms.
If no presidential candidate wins the election outright, a new election will happen within 30 days, with only the candidates with the highest number of votes contesting the election.
Requirements to be a presidential candidate, according to the Independent Electoral Boundaries and Commission
- Kenyan citizenship
- Recognised university degree
- Nominated by a political party or an independent candidate
- No allegiance to a foreign state
- Must not have abused or misused the state of public office
Kenya has a population of 54.9-million, of which 28.9-million are over the age of 18.
This year, 22-million Kenyans, 76% of the eligible voters, have registered to vote in the August elections – 2.5-million more than in the 2017 elections.
The voter turnout in the 8 August 2017 election was 77%, but in the October rerun only 39% of the registered voters cast valid votes.
In 2013, the voter turnout was 86%. In 2007, it was 69%, and in 2002, it was 56%.
All in all, there are 90 political parties putting forward candidates for the other electable positions on the national assembly, senate, county assemblies and governorship.