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Kenya election amendment set new precedent for hopeful MPs

Voters take a unanimous decision to compel MPs and MCAs to obtain university qualifications before the August 2017 election

Those hopeful to serve Kenya as a Member of Parliament (MP) or County Assembly Member (MCA) must have a formal education. The unanimous decision was taken at a vote, on Thursday night, as a bid to amend certain election-related laws.

In the vote, it was decided that an MP must have a tertiary-obtained degree, while MCAs must possess a post-secondary school diploma. By the time the 2022 election rolls by, even aspirant MCAs must possess a university degree.

The Bill is yet to be approved by President Uhuru Kenyatta and is likely to illicit special sittings to discuss various proposals.

Some 40 amendments have been put forward, including a contentious call to bar election candidates if they are accused of election-rated offences by an election court. The court would need to send a report of their findings to the Director of Public Prosecutions for investigations and prosecutions to bar a candidate.

MPs, however, have challenged the proposal, countering that candidates in this predicament be barred only once they have been convicted.

Kenya’s election, set for August 2017, might also see the country’s first female president.

Winnie Kaburu Kinyua, who ran in 2013 as well, confirmed she would run in the election saying she would deliver a more vibrant and productive nation.

In 2003, Kinyua received a Head of State Commendation or her work in the business community. She said her focus points for 2017 would be youth and women empowerment.

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