MPs deadlocked, again

December 17, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 17 – Members of Parliament once again failed to reach consensus over membership of a Select Committee on the Constitution Review process, forcing the House to adjourn early on Wednesday morning.

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka was forced to move a Motion of adjournment after MPs punched holes into a list of 27 members that had been tabled by Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale.

They argued that the list (which was to replace another one that had been rejected on Tuesday evening) contained too many Cabinet Ministers and was not representative of all regions.

Mr Khalwale, however, urged them to look past party representation and instead seek regional balance.

“The problem seems to be more with PNU (Party of National Unity) purely because it is a conglomeration of quite a number of political parties,” he said. “So I’m requesting members that as you go to your political parties, if you are aware that your region has been represented through the PNU side, then ODM sit ground knowing that although you do not have ODM there, your region is already represented.”

Cabinet Minister Kiraitu Murungi turned down his nomination to the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Constitution Review Process to allow fresh minds to serve on the panel.

“I don’t want the name of Kiraitu Murungi to be one of the obstacles in constitution making in this country. I want to follow the steps of my friend Bonny Khalwale and withdraw my name from that list,” he told the Speaker of the National Assembly.

The House adjourned sittings to Wednesday afternoon to allow for more consultations on the list.

“I move this Motion in order to be able to continue with the spirit that has been demonstrated so that we will then be able to come up with an agreed list to form the all-important Parliamentary Select Committee which will be able to anchor the constitutional review process,” the VP said.

Parties went into consultations over the Select Committee which is to work closely with a yet-to-be-appointed panel of experts to come up with a draft constitution.

The document will then be subjected to a national referendum.


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