The High Court has overturned a legal provision requiring aspirants vying for parliamentary seats at both the national and county level to be holders of university degrees.
Justice Anthony Mrima said the provision contained in Section 22 (1) of the Elections Act was irrational and had been developed without proper public participation.
The judge, in a ruling delivered on Friday, said drafters of the law did not take into account the 2019 population census data on the number of people with university degrees.
He further pointed out that the National Qualification Act requires academic training from any college or institution.
The judge said that the 2019 population data showed that there were 2.1 m graduates in the country, 25 percent whom were reported to be living in Nairobi.
He further said that some sub-counties like in Mau Forest, Kakamega and the North Eastern region have few if any graduates making the law irrational since people in such areas who be restrained from electing leaders of their choice.
The decision followed a petition filed by a lobby group named Sheria Mtaani and backed a section of Members of the County Assembly who were apprehensive the impugned law would lock them out of the 2022 general election.
The petitioners approached the court saying the decision made by parliament was meant to lock out several candidates and leave many Kenyans unrepresented in many counties.
The lobby group had cited, among other reasons, the disruption of the academic year by the coronavirus pandemic making it impossible for some aspirants who had enrolled for programs with the intention to vie in 2022 general elections to complete their studies.
In 2017, only the President, Deputy President, Governors and Deputy Governors were required to hold university degrees as a prerequisite to be cleared to run for office. Capital FM