The ball is in your court, Kibaki tells MPs

March 22, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 22 – President Mwai Kibaki has called on Parliament to debate and pass two crucial electoral bills within the next three months when he addressed a Special Session of the 10th Parliament.

The President said the two Bills will safeguard free and fair elections and entrench a democratic system of governance.

"I, therefore call upon this august House to debate and pass the bills within the next three months," he said.

The Elections Bill provides for the settlement of electoral disputes arising from nominations, the conduct and supervision of elections and the development of a modern system of collection, collation, transmission and tallying of electoral data.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Bill makes provision for effective operation of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission including continuous registration of voters, the delimitation of electoral boundaries, registration of candidates and voter education.

Read the President\’s full speech here.

"The next General Election will be held in less than two years from today.  As we approach this important event, it is in the interest of all of us to ensure that the elections are conducted within a framework that guarantees the free and fair exercise of people\’s choices," he said.

The Head of State also said the Grand Coalition Government would give Bills relating to judicial reforms high priority in Parliament. 

He told Parliament that with an objective and independent Judiciary, any dispute arising from interpretation of the new Constitution would be resolved lawfully. 

"These reforms are intended to strengthen accountability, administration of justice, rule of law and ensure checks and balances in governance," the President said.

In his speech, Speaker Kenneth Marende urged MPs to take the work of the House seriously to be able to meet constitution implementation deadlines.

"May I appeal to you, the leaders of Kenya, to be at the forefront in providing a transformational leadership, a leadership fully committed to actualize the promises of the new Constitutional order," the Speaker said in his welcoming speech.

Read the Speaker\’s full speech here.

He also urged MPs to avoid bickering and focus on development.

"Kenyans are eager to move forward in building this nation. We need to desist from sideshows, power games, retrogressive politics and posturing, that tend to delay our grand development plans.  Let us be progressively flexible and avoid rigid positions," Mr Marende said.

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