Deal with your rebels, ODM told

March 2, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 2 – The Registrar of Political Parties has declined to revoke the membership of two rebel ODM lawmakers and instead asked the party to first suspend or expel them before she can act.

Lucy Ndung\’u said she would only take action once the party notified her office of the expulsion or provided proof the members had defected.

"It is the party which should take action against the member following the party constitution.  After that, they are supposed to notify the Registrar on the removal suspension and the Registrar will take action and strike the member for the register after the party has acted," she said.

The party wrote to the Registrar\’s office asking her to find Assistant Minister Aden Duale and Chepalungu MP Isaac Ruto in breach of Article 17 of the Act and declare their seats vacant after associating themselves with UDM.

The clause reads: "A person who, while a member of a political party – in any way or manner, publicly advocates for the formation of another political party, shall, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (2) or the provisions of any other law, be deemed to have resigned from the previous political party."

ODM chief whip Jakoyo Midiwo had also asked the Registrar to also consider invoking Clause 103 of the New Constitution, which touches on vacating office by an MP.

Clause 103(1) (e) (i) reads;  "If, having been elected to Parliament – as a member of a political party, the member resigns from that party or is deemed to have resigned from the party as determined in accordance with the legislation contemplated in clause."

Ms Ndung\’u said a member can also initiate the process if he resigns from his former party and duly informs the party that he/she has formally resigned.

She added; "The party he is hopping to will be required to bring in the name so that we can enter it in our register.  We will now presume that person has moved, but action must be by the party or the member".

Suspended Higher Education Minister William Ruto has led more than 20 MPs, including five Cabinet ministers, to virtually cut links with ODM and have openly associated with the rival Party of National Unity wing of the coalition government.
Former Industrialization Minister Henry Kosgey, Agriculture Minister Sally Kosgei, Tourism Minister Najib Balala and East African Community minister Prof Hellen Sambili are among the high profile personalities who have ditched the Prime Minister\’s camp in favour of the Mr Ruto\’s camp.

If ODM expels the rebel MPs, the Registrar shall write to the Speaker of the National Assembly asking him to declare their seats vacant.

But the rebel MPs have scoffed at the attempts to eject them, saying it amounts to party dictatorship and have instead asked the ODM leadership to retrace their steps and find out where they went wrong.

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