The President of the Republic of Kenya, together with the Deputy-President and the Cabinet Secretaries comprise the executive. The President is the Head of State and Government; he exercises the executive authority of the Republic with the assistance of the Deputy President and Cabinet Secretaries. He is the Commander-in-Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces and a symbol of national unity. The Deputy President is the principal assistant of the President, and shall deputise for the President in the execution of the President’s functions. The President shall nominate and, with the approval of the National Assembly, appoint Cabinet Secretaries. A Cabinet Secretary shall not be a Member of Parliament. The President is elected directly for a 5-year term. In order to win, a candidate must garner 50% plus 1 votes and 25% in half of 47 counties.
The Republic of Kenya is a unitary State. Kenya won its independence from British colonial rule on 12 December 1963. The country has a multi-party political system whose hallmark is parliamentary democracy. The Parliament of Kenya is bicameral house consisting of the National Assembly and the Senate. The National Assembly has in total 349 members plus the Speaker who is an ex-officio. Article 95 of the Constitution establishes that the National Assembly shall consist of the following:- two hundred and ninety (290) members, each elected by the registered voters of single member constituencies; forty-seven (47) women, each elected by the registered voters of the counties, each county constituting a single member constituency; twelve (12) members nominated by parliamentary political parties according to their proportion of members of the National Assembly in accordance with Article 90, to represent special interests including the youth, persons with disabilities and workers; and the Speaker, who is an ex officio member.
The Senate consists of 67 members plus the Speaker, who is an ex-officio member. Article 98 of the Constitution establishes that the Senate shall consist of the following:- Forty-seven (47) members each elected by the registered voters of the counties, each county constituting a single member constituency; Sixteen (16) women members who shall be nominated by political parties according to their proportion of members of the Senate elected under clause (a) in accordance with Article 90; Two members (2), being one man and one woman, representing the youth; Two (2) members, being one man and one woman, representing persons with disabilities; and The Speaker, who shall be an ex officio member.
The members of the National Assembly are referred as Members of Parliament (MP) while the Members of the Senate are referred as Senators. Both the MPs and Senators serve a 5-year term.
This is the body responsible for determining disputes and interpreting statutes. It is independent of both the Executive and the Legislature. The Supreme Court is the final arbiter and interpreter of the Constitution. It comprises the Chief Justice, who is the President of the Court, the Deputy Chief Justice, who is the Vice-President of the Court and five other Judges. The Court has Exclusive original jurisdiction to hear and determine disputes relating to the elections to the office of President arising under Article 140 of the Constitution. It also has appellate jurisdiction to hear and determine appeals from the Court of Appeal and any other court or tribunal as prescribed by national legislation. There follows the Court of Appeal which handles appeal cases from the High Court and as prescribed by Parliament. It constitutes not less than 12 judges and will be headed by a President appointed by the Chief Justice. Thereafter is the High court of Kenya which is established under article 165 of the constitution of Kenya. It has supervisory jurisdiction over all other subordinate courts and any other persons, body or authority exercising a judicial or quasi-judicial function. After the promulgation of the constitution of Kenya 2010 and as part of the reforms of the judiciary the High Court expanded to create a dedicated court to deal with issues relating to Labour, Land and the Environment. The constitution also establishes other courts subordinate to the High Court and the Judicial Service Commission, vested with the power to appoint and to exercise disciplinary control and the removal of judicial officers.