Why politicians nicknames could be on ballot papers in 2022

Nicknames could soon be on the ballot

Why politicians nicknames could be on ballot papers in 2022

A proposed amendment on the Elections (Amendment) Bill 2019 is seeking the inclusion of a candidate’s popular name on the ballot paper.

Politicians now stand a chance to include their nicknames as opposed to their official names.

A candidate’s popular name may be included on a ballot paper for purposes of a party primary or an election,” part of the amendment bill reads.

However, it will be a long process for a candidate who wishes to have their popular name on the ballot.

A candidate who wishes to have his or her popular name introduced on a ballot paper will have to officially change his or her name through the procedures set out under the Registration of Persons Act, Cap

Name change process

107, the Registration of Documents Act, Cap 285 and the Rules and Regulations made under the two Acts.

Nyeri Senator Ephraim Maina defines “popular name” as a name which a candidate is known to the public but does not appear on the candidate’s national identity card or passport.

"It ensures that a voter easily identifies his or her preferred candidate on a ballot and therefore votes in the way he or she intended,” the Senator stated.

The amendment must get the Senate’s approval and the National Assembly before it is presented to the president for assent.

So far the Senate Justice and Legal Affairs Committee has approved the Bill report and is now awaiting passage by the plenary.


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