The Kenyan Constitution makes provisions for citizenship, the protection of fundamental rights and freedom of the individual, the President, the Cabinet and the Parliament, the Judiciary and Courts, the Judicial and Public Service Commission and the safeguarding of Trust Land.
Kenya's constitution was introduced at independence on 12 December 1963. It has been amended several times.
The Republic of Kenya was a de facto one-party state between 1969 and June 1982, when it became a de jure one-party state, and reverted to a multi-party state in November 1991. Governed by a united central government, Kenya's central legislative authority is the National Assembly, consisting of a single house.
The maximum life of the National Assembly is five years from its first meeting at any time and the National Assembly may force its own dissolution by a vote of 'no confidence', whereupon Presidential and Assembly elections have to be held within 90 days.
Executive power is in the hands of the President, Vice-President and Cabinet. Both the Vice-President and the Cabinet are appointed by the President, who must be a member of the Assembly and at least 35 years of age. If a President dies, or a vacancy otherwise occurs during a President' s period of office, the Vice-President becomes interim President for upto 90 days while a successor is elected.
The Constitution can be amended by the affirmative vote on Second and Third Reading of 65% of the membership of the National Assembly (excluding the Speaker and Attorney-General).
Under the Constitution, individual rights and liberties are protected, including freedom of expression and assembly, privacy of the home, the right not to be detained without cause, and the right of compensation for the compulsory purchase of property.
The President and his Cabinet govern with the support of the majority in Parliament. The Parliament remains supreme as the only law making body in Kenya and as such exercises control of public finances.
Candidates for National elections, unless nominated unopposed, are selected at the party preliminary elections. After this all those selected face the general electorate at a general election held throughout the country on a date determined by the Supervisor of Elections.
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