What you need to know:
- Political parties will be required to conduct their primaries between April 16 and April 22, 2022.
- Another key date is December 9, 2021, when the IEBC requires the candidates to have ended their fund-raising activities.
Kenya has four months to the 2022 General Election calendar and a year to the presidential primaries.
Political parties are expected to submit their nomination rules to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) by October 18.
In key timelines released by the IEBC in preparation for the August 9, 2022 General Election, presidential nominations must be done between May 30 and June 10, 2022.
During the nominations, the IEBC certifies the aspirants as eligible to vie for the respective target seats.
The nomination rules, which are in hindsight a source of push and pull among members, have to be submitted six months to the nominations, meaning by October 18 this year.
There will be an amendment window until January 16 next year to allow parties to edit their respective documents, if need be.
The parties will be required to conduct their primaries – the highly-charged precursor to the general election – between April 16 and April 22, 2022.
Another key date is December 9, 2021, when the IEBC requires the candidates to have ended their fund-raising activities.
Campaign spending limit
In regulations prepared by the IEBC to actualise the Election Campaign Financing Act (2013), which are awaiting approval by the National Assembly, parties are allowed to raise up to Sh15 billion in contributions.
Individual contributions have been capped at Sh3 billion.
The regulations allow presidential candidates to spend at most Sh5 billion for the entire campaign period.
Candidates eyeing governor, senator and woman-representative seats are allowed to spend between Sh13 million and Sh400 million, depending on the county, with Lamu and Nairobi as the two extremes.
In the 2017 campaign spending limit regulations, MPs are allowed to spend between Sh2 million and Sh33 million, while ward reps can spend between Sh66,000 and Sh10 million.
In another key timeline for the 2022 elections, civil servants seeking to stand for elective posts have until February 9, 2022 to quit their posts.
A ruling in 2017 had spared public servants the requirement, but the IEBC plan seems to have reverted to the original law.
"A declaration is hereby issued that under Article 24(1)(2) of the Constitution, the requirement that a public officer who intends to contest an election resigns six months before the date of the election is unreasonable and unjustifiable in a democratic society," ruled Justice Njagi Marete in March 2017.
Independent candidates have until May 9, 2022, being 90 days to the general election, to cease being members of a political party.
Under this plan, as was the case in 2017, losers in the party primaries would still have a chance to contest since they will have almost two weeks within which to resign from their parties and pick up the independent candidate’s card.
In 2017, a record 4,002 independent candidates, compared to just 350 in 2013, presented themselves for election as non-party hopefuls, a number analysts say could rise significantly in the 2022 elections.
The IEBC has until May 13, 2022, upon submission of unique party symbols, to gazette the names and symbols of independent candidates.
Following the party primaries, which the IEBC wants done between April 16 and April 22, 2022, the commission will meet all the aspirants between May 16 and May 22, 2022 in preparation for their vetting and determination of their eligibility to vie.
As happened in 2017, the candidates will appear before the returning officers in their regions—the IEBC chairman for the presidential candidates—to submit their nomination papers between May 30 and June 10.
The IEBC has set the official campaign period for the 2022 General Election between May 30 and August 6, 2022, just 48 hours to the August 9, 2022 poll.
The notice for the general election, the legal instrument that marks the start of preparations for the polls and the attendant timelines, will be published on March 14, 2022, the commission says.
The electoral agency is expected to publish a list of all nominated candidates by June 24, 2022 and political parties are required to submit their party lists by June 25, 2022.
This means losers in the primaries may still get a chance to be nominated to Parliament since the submission of the list comes just 45 days to the general election, long after the party primaries.
The commission expects to appoint returning officers—the men and women whose job it will be to declare parliamentary and presidential election results in each of the 290 constituencies—as well as their deputies by March 14, 2022.
By June 24, 2022, the IEBC expects to gazette polling stations, which IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati said will be the basis of the final results.
“Elections will be conducted and concluded with the results at the polling stations. Thereafter, the results are electronically transmitted to tallying centres and physically delivered to the returning officers for collation and declaration,” Mr Chebukati said on Tuesday.
The IEBC estimates that Kenya will have 53,000 polling stations in 2022, up from the 40,883 in the 2017 poll.
The commission expects to announce presidential election results by August 15, 2022, although as has been the case in previous polls, the results come in early, usually by the third or fourth day after voting.
October 18, 2021: Submission of party rules
December 9, 2021: End of fundraising by aspirants
February 9, 2022: Resignation of public officers intending to vie for elective posts
April 9, 2022: Submission of names of candidates for primaries
April 16 to April 22, 2022: Party primaries
May 2, 2022: Submission of independent candidates’ symbols, letter of intent to vie and clearance from registrar.
May 9, 2022: Time for those intending to run as independent candidates to resign from parties
May 9-13, 2022: Gazettement of names of independent candidates and symbols
May 30-June 10, 2022: Presidential candidates are nominated
May 30-June 10, 2022: Candidates for other seats nominated
June 20-June 24, 2022: Publication of names of all nominated candidates
June 25, 2022: Parties to submit party lists
May 30, 2022 - August 6, 2022: Official election campaign period
August 9, 2022: Election day.