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Senators to vote on Political Parties (Amendment) Bill



The Senate on Wednesday began the debate on  the Political Parties (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bills No. 56 of 2021) with six senators seeking to further amend the bill with 31 clauses.

The senators include Elgeyo Marakwet’s Kipchumba Murkomen, Samson Cherargei of Nandi, Kitui senator Enock Wambua, Muranga’s Irungu Kang’ata and Nominated senators Petronila Were and Issac Mwaura.

Cherargei, said the bill was ambiguous. But the bill has received massive support from senators who termed it progressive in terms of strengthening democracy in the country.

The proposal for de-registration of rebel members and coalition agreement timelines dominating the debate.

Senators proposed further amendment to some clauses to allow party disciplinary cases be heard and determined in 21 days contrary to 7 days proposed in the bill.

Majority Leader, Sen Samuel Poghisio  moved that the Political Parties (Amendment) Bill be read a second time.

Senators further took issue with the proposal to strengthen the office of the registrar of political parties in overseeing party nominations claiming the move would lead to micromanaging political parties.

Senators voted 29 against seven to send the bill to the next stage. During the Second Reading stage, the Senators shall debate the essence and principles of the Bill and give their views.

Senators will vote on the bill during Thursday’s afternoon sitting.

Those aggrieved have hinted at heading to the courts to stop its implementation.

The Senate is holding three special sittings since Tuesday.

The business being transacted at the sittings include consideration of the Political Parties (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bills No. 56 of 2021, the Heritage and Museums Bill (Senate Bills No. 22 of 2021), the County Governments (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bills No. 38 of 2021), the Intergovernmental Relations (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bills No. 37 of 2021); and the County Oversight and Accountability Bill (Senate Bills No. 17 of 2021).

Meanwhile, the National Assembly will now hold its sitting on Tuesday the 1st of next month  as it seeks to resolve the current  challenge of setting up the  house business committee after the motion to do so  was defeated on Tuesday.

The Speaker had earlier indicated that the sitting would have taken place on Thursday at 2.30 pm but later yielded to a request from the National Assembly leader of majority Dr Amos Kimunya who had requested for more time.

The house business committee is tasked with scheduling and deciding priority business of the House.


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