Why we can’t hold by-elections yet

June 29, 2012 7:03 am
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Speaker Kenneth Marende said he could not declare the three seats vacant as the current Elections Act does not provide for such by-elections/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 29 – The delayed passage of the Statute law (Miscellaneous Amendment) Bill 2012 will affect the conduct of by-elections in three constituencies.

National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende said he could not declare the three seats vacant as the current Elections Act does not provide for such by-elections.

Marende said that the Elections Act 2012 repealed provisions of the old National Assembly and Presidential Elections Act that gave the Speaker powers to declare the seats vacant and issue writs to facilitate the conduct of by-elections.

Kangema, Kajiado North and Ndhiwa constituencies are unrepresented in Parliament following the deaths of MPs John Michuki, George Saitoti and Orwa Ojode respectively.

Michuki who was the Minister for Environment and MP for Kangema died in February while Saitoti (Kajiado North MP) and Ojode (Ndhiwa MP) died in a helicopter crash earlier this month.

“There are clauses in the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendment Bill) 2012 that will provide the required legal framework,” the Speaker explained.

Section 13 of the repealed National Assembly and Presidential Elections Act provided that: “For the purposes of a parliamentary election; consequent upon a dissolution of the National Assembly; or to supply a vacancy arising from any cause other than the dissolution of the National Assembly, the Speaker shall issue a writ under his hand in the prescribed form addressed to the returning officer of each constituency in which an elected member is to be returned.”

On Monday President Mwai Kibaki declined to assent to the amendment Bill that was passed by Parliament last week.

The president, in his memorandum rejecting the omnibus Bill, said the amendments violated some constitutional provisions.

Marende was also presented with cheques worth Sh30 million from Jubilee Insurance as payment for the three MPs insurance cover.

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