Small political parties in Kenya can promote democracy in several ways:
- Providing alternative views and policies: Small parties can bring different ideas and perspectives to the political discourse, thus adding diversity and enriching public debates.
- Promoting competition: By participating in elections, small parties can increase competition, making the electoral process more democratic.
- Holding larger parties accountable: By providing a check and balance on larger parties, small parties can hold the government accountable and ensure that the ruling party does not abuse its power.
- Representing underrepresented groups: Small parties can give voice to groups that are traditionally marginalized, such as ethnic minorities, women, and young people.
- Encouraging active citizen participation: When small parties are actively engaged in the political process, they can inspire more citizens to get involved and participate in elections, thus strengthening the democratic process.
Process of registering a political party in Kenya
To register a political party in Kenya, one must follow these steps:
- Form a Steering Committee of at least 7 members and draft a constitution for the party
- Submit an application to the Registrar of Political Parties with a copy of the party’s constitution and a list of at least 1000 members
- Pay the required fee
- Wait for the Registrar’s approval or rejection of the application.
Note: The constitution must meet the criteria set by the Political Parties Act 2011, including provisions for democracy, accountability and transparency.
Process of dissolving a political party
The process of dissolving a political party in Kenya is as follows:
- A party can dissolve itself through a resolution passed by its governing body and communicated to the Registrar of Political Parties.
- The Registrar of Political Parties can also initiate the process of dissolution if the party is found to have violated the Political Parties Act or the Constitution.
- The Registrar informs the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal, which then examines the grounds for dissolution and makes a determination.
- If the Tribunal upholds the dissolution, the party is de-registered and ceases to exist as a legal entity.