, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 21 – National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende says the 10th Parliament is likely to adjourn next month despite its term officially expiring on January 15 next year.
Marende welcomed legislators to the fourth session of the 10th Parliament on Tuesday, and announced that the House would only sit for 18 days with the last sitting on December 20 when they are expected to adjourn ahead of the Christmas and New Year holidays.
“We have exactly one month between now and the time that it is proposed we will adjourn. We have computed the number of sittings that we will have and we have found that they are 18 days, so if you want to leave within time, then you must use this period very strictly,” Marende said.
“The House will sit until December 20 when it will adjourn indefinitely, but it will however, be dissolved on January 14 when the legislators’ term will expire,” a senior parliamentary officer explained.
“This is very likely to be our ultimate sitting and so I wish you the very best, and please succeed in your endeavours… in your undertakings, in your deliberations and in your transactions,” he said.
The House has several Bills to tackle within the next one month, some of them with a bearing to the impending elections, including the Campaign Financing Bill.
The law aims to eliminate the influence of financial resources in the outcome of Kenya’s electoral processes.
The Bill is the last election related legislation that Parliament has to enact in preparation for March 4, 2013 poll as it creates a level playing field for candidates for political office and their political parties by regulating the sources of funding and setting spending limits.
Parliament will also be grappling with the Constitution (Amendment) Bill that seeks to deal with the one-third gender rule with regards to the National Assembly.
The matter is critical because if a solution is not found the next Parliament could be declared unconstitutional if it fails to meet the threshold.
Already, Attorney-General Githu Muigai has gone to the Supreme Court to seek legal opinion on the matter on behalf of the government.
Parliament also has another tight timeline to approve a yet-to-be-picked nominee for Deputy Chief Justice before it winds up its business.
The position fell vacant when the first occupant of the office Nancy Baraza resigned following recommendation by a tribunal that investigated her conduct after a scuffle with a security guard at the Village Market on New Year’s Eve.
Applicants for the post have until end of this month to apply before the Judicial Service Commission.