Presidential Debate in Kenya, July 2017: Guidelines, Moderators, Candidates, Format, and Rules

July Presidential Debate in Kenya for the 8th August 2017  general elections. The dates of debates, Venue, the formats of the debates, selection criteria for the candidates, rules of engagement and debate moderators (Check for dates of debates).

Presidential Debate in Kenya, July 2017 Guidelines, Moderators, Candidates, Format, and Rules

July 2017 Presidential Debate in Kenya Guidelines: Moderators, Candidates, Format, Rules, Catholic University Venue, Questions, and Dates/Photo


Official statement from Debates Media Limited

In July 2017 Debates Media Limited will stage two presidential debates for candidates for President and one for presidential running-mates or candidates for Deputy President. The debates are aimed at affording candidates the opportunity to explain to the Kenyan public their respective positions on key national issues.


The Organization of the debates for presidential candidates In Kenya shall be governed by the following broad principles:

  1. Good governance, fairness. Integrity. independence, transparency and accountability:
  2. equity, human rights and human dignity:
  3. national unity, the rule of law, democracy and participation of the people: and
  4. sustainability.



Each debate will run uninterrupted without breaks and will last 90 minutes.

All three debates will take place before a live audience at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa off Matadi Road, Karen area in Nairobi.

Each debate will be divided into six segments of 15 minutes each on the major thematic areas that will be announced to the candidates at least one week before the debate.

THE FIRST presidential debate scheduled for Monday July 10, 2017 will be a direct engagement between the candidates and a single moderator.

THE SECOND presidential debate to be held on Monday July 17, 2017 will be a direct engagement between the running mates of the candidates and a single moderator.

THE THIRD presidential debate set for Monday July 24, 2017 will be conducted in a town hall format where a single moderator will guide the candidates through a debate that will also include direct questions from citizens in the audience.

The Formats of all the three debates have been designed and selected in keeping with international best practice.


To be eligible to participate in the Presidential Debate a candidate:

MUST be constitutionally eligible to run for the Office of President and a holder of formal clearance from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
MUST have attained at least 5% of popular support countrywide in at least two national opinion polls conducted by reputable research firms.
CANDIDATES with lass than 5% popular support showing in opinion polls will take part in separate single pool debates to be conducted on the same dates.


The rules on engagement are aimed at ensuring the independence and integrity of the debates as well as the orderly conduct of the exercise:

  1. The Debates Secretariat will engage with the respective presidential campaign teams on the rules of engagement at least 14 days before the first presidential debate.
  2. Presidential campaign teams will be issued with information on the general areas to be covered by the debate but the specific questions will not be disclosed
  3. Candidates will be invited in writing.
  4. The standing positions of the candidates during debate shall be decided by a ballot to be conducted at the venue 10 minutes prior to the debate. The same ballot will also decide the order of opening and closing statements.
  5. Each candidate shall be given 90 seconds to make an opening statement. 90 seconds for a closing statement and two minutes to respond to questions and shall be accorded the right to rebuttal.
  6. The debates shall be bilingual with candidates permitted to communicate in either English or Kiswahili
  7. Candidates shall remain civil and respectful and will not be permitted to insult other candidates. No candidate shall be permitted to use derogatory language in reference to his or her opponent or their contribution.
  8. Candidates shall not be permitted to use gestures commonly understood in Kenya to convey an insult.
  9. Debates Media Limited shall ensure that the studio audience is pre-screened and does not confer any undue advantage to any of the candidates.
  10. The moderators shall afford each candidate an equal and fair chance to articulate their policies.



Debates Media Ltd will select all the moderators using the following criteria:


  1. Impartiality, fairness and objectivity:
  2. Strong understanding of the Kenyan political landscape and the major issues of the presidential campaign:
  3. Extensive experience in live television broadcast
  4. Proven ability to moderate debates.

The moderators will select the questions to be asked, and shall not share the same with the candidates. The moderators shall not meet with the campaign teams, nor will the campaign teams have a role in moderator selection.

You can also read  Busia County ODM nominations results, 2017: Primaries Winners

Do not miss all our live updates on Journalist who will moderate the 2017 July presidential debate in Kenya!

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