There are many reasons Why A Political Party May be Deregistered in Kenya. A political party may get deregistered or suspended from registration under certain specific circumstances. Deregistration or suspension of a political party may prevent the party from enjoying the privileges of a fully registered party.
Types of Deregistration of a Political Party in Kenya.
Deregistration of a political party may be:
- Involuntary Deregistration;
- Voluntary Deregistration
a. Involuntary Deregistration
The Registrar of Political Parties may deregister a party in carrying out regulatory functions. The registrar is provided by these powers in section 34 of the Political Parties Act.
Reasons Why A Political Party May be Deregistered in Kenya
The Registrar may deregister a party if the party:
- has contravened the provisions of Article 91 of the Constitution;
- does not promote the free and fair nomination of candidates;
- does not adhere to the law relating to the nomination of candidates;
- does not respect the national values and principles of the Constitution;
- obtained its registration in a fraudulent manner;
- has instigated or participated in the commission of an election offence; or
- Has acted contrary to the provisions of section 26 by not adhering to the legal requirements on the political parties fund.
Procedure of Deregistration of a Political Party
To deregister a political Party, the Registrar will follow this procedure:
1. Notification to the Party: The registrar will notify the party in writing by notice sent to all party officers:
- Particulars of the breach or contravention;
- Intention to deregister the political party; and
- Direct the political party to remedy the breach or contravention within ninety days or otherwise show cause why the party should not be deregistered.
2. Deregistration of the Party: the Registrar may deregister the party, If the party:
- Fails to rectify the omission; or
- Does not convince the Registrar that the infraction was not the result of any negligence or lack of good faith on its part within ninety days.
3. Gazette Notice: If a registered party becomes deregistered, the Registrar will publish a notice of deregistration in the Kenya Gazette. This notice will specify the effective date of deregistration.
b. Voluntary Deregistration
A registered political party may voluntarily apply to become deregistered. The Registrar can accept the application to deregister if it is signed by the authorized party officials.
Consequences of Deregistration of a Political Party
Upon being deregistered, the Registrar will change the status of the party from “registered” to “deregistered” in the Registry of Political Parties. The deregistered party then loses all the advantages of a registered party.
In addition, a political party that is deregistered under this Act shall not:
- Summon a meeting of members or officers of the political party other than for purposes of winding up the political party or for purposes of challenging the de-registration of the political party
- Attend or make a person attend a meeting in the capacity of a member or officer of the political party;
- Publish a notice or advertisement relating to a meeting of the political party except for purposes of a meeting under paragraph (a);
- Invite persons to support the political party;
- Make a contribution or loan to funds held or to be held by or for the benefit of the political party or accept a contribution or loan; or
- Give a guarantee in respect of such funds.
How to Register a Deregistered Party
A registered party that is deregistered by the Registrar may choose to (re)apply for registration, but cannot do so within the period of five years from the date of deregistration. The party can reapply by submitting an Application to Register a Political Party using the same process as if it were applying for the first time.
The name and the abbreviation or the logo or the symbol or the colours of a deregistered political party will not be assigned and used for registration afresh within the period of five years from the date of deregistration.
Suspension of Registration of Political Parties in Kenya
The Registrar may suspend the registration of the political party for a period not exceeding twelve months.
Reasons for Suspension of Registration
A political party will be suspended if it commits an offence such as failing to furnish to the Registrar information specified in the law. The objective of suspension is to enable the political party to remedy the breach specified in the notice issued by the Registrar under Section 21(2).
Consequences of Suspension of Registration
A political party that has been suspended under Section 21(3) shall not be entitled to any of the rights and privileges specified in Section 15, namely, the right to:
- hold and address public meetings in any area in Kenya for the purposes of publicising the political party and recruiting members;
- the protection and assistance of the State security agencies for the purposes of facilitating peaceful and orderly meetings; and
- The provision by the State, of a fair opportunity to present the political party’s programmes to the public by ensuring equitable access to the State-owned media.
Updating Registration Information
If any of the registration information changes, the political party must file a notice of the change. A notice to update information must be made in writing and must be signed by two authorised officers of the political party.
Public Access to Registration Information
The information in the application for registration is available for public inspection at the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties. When using the checklist, please pay careful attention to these requirements: