Kenya’s Speaker eager for task ahead

August 13, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 13 – The Speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende has said that he expects the Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee (CIOC) to be in place before September 27, a month after the new law comes into effect.

He told reporters on Friday that he expects political parties to agree soon on their nominees to the powerful committee.

President Mwai Kibaki is expected to promulgate the new Constitution on August 27 at a ceremony to be held at Uhuru Park, Nairobi.

"We expect to see this at least 30 days after the new Constitution is promulgated, because before the Constitution is promulgated it is not yet the law of this country," Mr Marende said after meeting ambassadors to brief them on the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference to be held next month in Nairobi.

Mr Marende pleaded with MPs to maintain harmony exhibited by Kenyans during the referendum period.

"Kenyans have made it clear that they want a country that will avoid sideshows, a country that will avoid mediocrity and address an agenda that is going to translate into improved welfare for Kenyans," he said.

Parliament must set up the CIOC which is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the new Constitution within 90 days after promulgating of the new law.

"I will want to appeal to the leadership of the various political parties as are represented in Parliament to ensure that they consult each other in the spirit of coalition so that they peacefully nominate MPs that will constitute the critical oversight committee," pleaded the Speaker.

Already, lobbying for positions in the oversight committee has started.

Some MPs have said they would prefer the original members of the current Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitutional Review, led by Mandera Central MP Abdikadir Mohamed to be co-opted into the new committee. That committee’s mandate expired with the publication of the proposed Constitution.

The soon to be dissolved PSC included Higher Education Minister William Ruto and Chepalungu MP Isaac Ruto, both of whom later campaigned against the new Constitution, despite adopting it at committee level, and on the floor of Parliament.

An ODM parliamentary group meeting on Thursday appeared intent on blocking certain ODM members of the PSC from taking positions in the yet to be formed CIOC.


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