CMD-Kenya works with political parties in areas of capacity building and facilitates them to building consensus around issues of national importance. Political parties are also major participants in advancing the reform agenda primarily through the Constitution implementation process. Because 2012 is an election year, most activities will undoubtedly be geared towards electoral preparation i.e. exploring thematic areas that add to the level of political parties’ preparedness for the next general election. CMD-Kenya strategic plan 2009-2013 has identified Reforms, Reconstruction and Reconciliation [3Rs] as the principal focus of its activities and the entrenchment of level paying field within party and national electoral processes. The issues of internal party democracy and enabling pieces of legislation continue to be target of our programmatic interventions.
While political parties are in competition, there is also need for them to deliberate on issues of common interest that contribute towards the development of multiparty democracy in Kenya. Since the formation of CMD-Kenya in March 2004, political parties have consistently met to develop consensus and adopt positions on the quality of selected pieces of legislation and on important national issues. The issues of national importance so far tackled include knowledge sharing on preparation of Party Lists, operationalizing the requirement of article 10 of the constitution which has specified the national values and principles of governance around which a common understanding is needed in order to ensure that electoral candidates know exactly what is required of them to avoid disqualification or other sanctions within the electoral laws.
Other areas of interest include vetting of candidates to ensure they conform to chapter six of the constitution on Leadership and Integrity [and article 10] and to work with parties to update their activities as per the electoral deadlines and a look at the membership registration processes. Political parties are challenged to strengthen their county level structures and operations in order to effectively participate in transition to county governance, particularly in developing clear policies for sharing of cross county resources which might precipitate disputes and/or conflicts. This will entail activities to be conducted within the counties themselves. Knowledge sharing on best practices in starting up county/devolved governments will be essential while new opportunities for citizen political participation gender balance/equity issues will be brought to the fore.