Degree certificate not a requirement to run for presidency, court rules
Published on: January 31, 2023 03:53 (EAT)
The High Court has ruled that a degree certificate is not required for one
to vie for the presidency.
This follows a petition filed in May 2022 by Nazlin Umar Rajput, a presidential aspirant in
the 2022 General Election who was not cleared to contest because she did not have a degree.
Ms Rajput in her submission pleaded that based on the decision in
Petition No. 28 of 2020 consolidated with others, the education qualifications for the presidential
aspirant are the same as those of a Member of Parliament.
Among her prayers to the court was that an order be issued restraining
the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) from requiring or demanding
a degree qualification from her, or any other Kenyan vying for the presidency.
In a ruling dated December 16, 2022, Justice Anthony Mrima said that Section 22(2) of the Elections Act is unconstitutional for mandatorily
demanding that a presidential aspirant must possess a university degree as long
as the decision to waive the requirement for MPs stands.
The High Court last year declared
null and void the section of the Election Act that requires Members of
Parliament to have a degree.
decision in Wambui & 10 Others v Speaker of the National Assembly & 6
others case continues to hold and a provision requiring Members of Parliament
to possess university degrees is enacted within the confines of the
Constitution and the law, then, and until then, Section 22(2) of the Elections
Act as relating to the presidential qualifications will be in line with Article
137(1)(b) of the Constitution.
However, before then, Section 22(2) of the Elections
cannot stand in so far as the eligibility criterion for a presidential
candidate is concerned,” Justice Mrima stated.
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