First amendment Bill gets into First Reading

November 23, 2011 3:13 pm

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 23 – The Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill 2011 has finally been introduced in Parliament.

This came after National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende stood by the ruling he gave on Tuesday allowing the Bill to be formally introduced for the First Reading.

Marende told Parliament on Wednesday that he had agonised over issues raised by the backbench MPs following his ruling but remained convinced that the fate of the Bill should come from the MPs when it comes up for debate and approval.

“I leave this other matters to the House to decide one way or the other. The House will in its own wisdom in the fullness of time have the last word as to the fate of the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill 2011,” he said.

The House Speaker said issues raised by MPs following his ruling would have compelled him to discuss the merits and demerits of the Bill which is not within his mandate “including such matters as whether or not the earlier timing of a first constitutional amendment may not set the stage for a hard earned Constitution, the soundness or goodness of the Bill and the desirability of the joinder or otherwise of the issues contained in the Bill,” said the Speaker

The Bill will now be subjected to public participation in 90 days before its reintroduction for debate.

MPs Dr Boni Khalwale, John Mbadi, Millie Odhiambo, Gitobu Imanyara and Danson Mungatana had pleaded with the Speaker to review his ruling insisting that its publication had breached certain constitutional provisions.

The Constitution Amendment Bill 2011 seeks to amend Article 89(9) to clarify the date on which the names and details of the delimited boundaries come into effect, to amend Article 97 on the composition of the National assembly by inserting new clauses that will provide for the realisation of Articles 27(8) which provides that not more than two thirds of the members of elective posts are of the same gender.

It also targets to amend Article 98 on the composition of the Senate by inserting a clause that will provide for the number of special seat to ensure gender equity.

These amendments if adopted will ensure that at all times not more than two thirds of MPs shall be of the same gender.

It also seeks to amend the election date to clarify and settle all controversy surrounding the date for the next election.


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