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Kenya Speaker faces tough choice

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 28 – Speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende is on Tuesday afternoon expected to make a tough decision over the control of a key Parliamentary committee which sets the House agenda.

Mr Marende is expected to decide between acknowledging a letter from Prime Minister Raila Odinga who nominated himself as Leader of Government Business or heed the President’s appointment of Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka.

In an interview with Capital News, Constitutional expert Dr PLO Lumumba had advised Mr Marende to make his ruling based on the law, which was likely to be unpleasant to Orange Democratic Movement, the party that nominated him as Speaker.

“History is beckoning Marende, he must now make a ruling which is in keeping with the law, unfortunately this ruling will confirm what President Kibaki has done,” he said.

But even as Parliament resumes on Tuesday afternoon President Kibaki and Prime Minister Odinga had still maintained their hard-line positions.

Since Wednesday last week Parliament has remained paralysed and has not conducted any business delaying the approval of the supplementary budget and the Interim Independent Electoral Commission whose notices of Motions were given on the same day.

Since its inception last year, the coalition government has suffered major wrangles raising fears that it was likely to collapse before 2012 General Election.

But the two main principals have quelled the differences and moved on promising to ensure it will hold up to 2012. The current standoff seems to be the toughest one with Prime Minister Odinga saying he was ready for a snap poll.

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But without a voters’ register and an electoral body this seems not forthcoming any time soon.

Dr Lumumba on Monday urged the Party of National Unity and ODM to make constitutional amendments to end their wrangles which he said have been occurring due to hiccups on the National Accord.

On Monday, several backbenchers and Assistant Ministers said they will back any list to be tabled by the government. In the current list which is on the order paper the name of the Prime Minister Raila Odinga has been excluded.

The following is the list as it appears on Tuesday’s order paper;

1. Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, M.P.

2. Uhuru Kenyatta, M.P.

3. Kiraitu Murungi, M.P.

4. Shakila Abdalla, M.P.

5. Esther Murugi, M.P.

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6. George Saitoti, M.P.

7. Mutula Kilonzo, M.P.

8. Moses Wetangula, M.P.

9. Adan Keynan, M.P.

10. George Thuo, M.P.

11. Musalia Mudavadi, M.P.

12. William Ruto, M.P.

13. Anyang’ Nyongo, M.P.

14. Charity Ngilu, M.P.

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15. Henry Kosgey, M.P.

16. (Dr.) Sally Kosgei, M.P.

17. Mohamud Maalim Mohamed, M.P.

18. Francis Chachu Ganya, M.P.

19. Thomas Ludindi Mwadeghu, M.P.

20  Robert Monda, M.P.

21. Jakoyo Midiwo, M.P.

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