January 26, 2022

newsline

Timely – Precise – Factual

MPs to convene today to finalize the controversial political parties bill debate

The controversial bill governing political parties is set to continue today to deliberate on pending clauses and possibly vote to adopt or reject the proposed law.

This is after the speaker suspended the session briefly after a brawl erupted in Parliament on Wednesday last week.

The fighting broke out hours after heated debate over the bill, which contains amendments to laws governing political parties and the registration of coalition groupings for elections.

Deputy President William Ruto’s allies, who could not provide sufficient numbers to pass some of amendments they proposed last week, want to derail the controversial Political Parties (Amendment) Bill from being passed in Parliament.

According to the former National Assembly Majority leader Aden Duale, United Democratic Alliance (UDA) has lined up fifty new amendments, a scheme to sabotage the Political Parties Amendment Bill.

GENDER COMPOSITION OF THE KENYAN 12TH PARLIAMENT IN DEPARTMENTAL COMMITTEES  - Gender in Kenya

Clerk of the National Assembly Michael Sialai said at least six MPs allied to the UDA had by yesterday filed additional amendments.

Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa, who had initially proposed amendments to seven clauses, has also proposed more changes to the Bill.

UDA promised to move to court should they lose their bid to stop the controversial  Bill from being passed in Parliament.

“The sponsors of the Bill know very well that no public participation was done.
They rushed it to achieve their own interests,” Kiambu Women Representative Gathoni Wamuchomba said.

Ruto’s camp claims the Bill was aimed at forcing them to enter into a coalition with
potential partners before the right time.

They also believe the Bill is intended to make it easy for Raila Odinga’s Azimio La
Umoja movement to field candidates to their disadvantage in the August elections.

The legislation would allow a coalition of parties to field a candidate in the poll, a departure from the current law that requires a candidate to belong to a party or be independent to vie for a seat.

Opponents of the proposals argue that President Uhuru Kenyatta and his erstwhile foe Raila Odinga will use them to build a formidable coalition ahead of the August 9 vote.

Although Odinga is ostensibly opposition leader, he and Kenyatta declared a truce with a headline-grabbing handshake in 2018 after deadly post-election clashes the year before.

If the National Assembly passes the Bill, it will be taken to the Senate for concurrence or rejection.

The speaker suspended the session briefly after the chaotic scenes, which saw at least two rival MPs exchange blows.

One lawmaker, Bernard Koros, was injured during the fracas, and was seen with blood dripping down his face, while another was expelled from parliament by the speaker.

“I cannot accept to be injured in the national house like this Mr Speaker,” said Koros, a supporter of Ruto.