Persons With Disability’s Inclusion In The Electoral Process

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The consortium of Disabled Persons Organisation of Kenya (CDPOK) in Partnership with Action Network for the Disabled (ANDY) under the Inclusive Political Parties Program(KIPP) on Tuesday, had a breakfast meeting with 15 major Political Partys’ Secretary Generals at a hotel in Nairobi to check on the progress towards the inclusion and participation of Persons with Disabilities in the political parties’ structures and processes.

The team led by ANDY Inclusion Officer, Collins Ombajo commended the progress however, they observed that some gaps still exist and need to be bridged by respective political parties to achieve inclusivity of PWDs in all aspects.

To achieve this, the team recommended that; the generation of Political Parties’ nomination lists be an open and transparent process that includes the participation of the Party Disability League members as guided by Article 90 of the Constitution of Kenya, the political parties Act and other existing legislations.

This means that the party should engage its disability league when nominating members i.e. nominating persons with disabilities from within the party through the party’s disability league.

They want political parties to prioritize Persons With Disabilities within their parties during the development of party lists for nomination, i.e., PWDs to at least appear first in the lists including women with disability.

They further proposed that Political Parties through the party PWD Secretaries and Disability Leagues verify the PWDs in the party nomination list which they say, can be done by seeking certification from the national council for persons with disability (NCPWD).

They also suggested that Political parties ensure that persons with disability participate in their campaign strategies and structures and even be agents during elections.

In regards to the formation of the government, they want PWDs considered in all government appointive positions, (CS, principal secretaries, Cabinet administrators, boards diplomats, and parastatals).

The PWDs representatives lauded the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission for the formation of the Disability Inclusion Coordinating Committee (DICC) which liaises with IEBC in addressing issues affecting persons with disabilities.

However, they want IEBC to ensure party nomination lists are compliant with the provisions of Article 90 of the Constitution of Kenya and other laws being the sole body for the election.

Among other recommendations to the commission include; prioritizing the nomination of PWDs whose names appear on the lists submitted by political parties, and the lists to be made public through publication in local newspapers before the final publication in the Kenya Gazette.

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