Deadline set for Speakers seat application

March 22, 2013 3:19 pm
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President Kibaki has summoned first sitting of the National Assembly at the Main Parliament Building and Senate to be held at KICC/FILE
President Kibaki has summoned first sitting of the National Assembly at the Main Parliament Building and Senate to be held at KICC/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 22- Kenyans interested in vying for the post of Speaker of the National Assembly and Senate have until Tuesday morning to hand in their application to the Clerks of either houses of representatives they wish to serve.

Parliamentary Media Relations officer, David Mugonyi, told Capital News that the Clerk’s office is open to receive applications from Friday until Tuesday at 9 O’clock for processing ahead of Thursday’s inaugural sitting of the 11th Parliament.

President Mwai Kibaki has summoned the first sitting of the National Assembly at the Main Parliament Building and Senate to be held at Kenyatta International Conference Centre on the stated day.

The Head of State invoked powers conferred on him by Article 126(2) of the Constitution, which requires he convenes the first sittings within 30 days of the General Election. Following the notice, the clerks of both houses have formally invited applications for those eyeing the Speakers’ posts.

Outgoing Speaker Kenneth Marende and former MPs Abdikadir Mohammed and Justin Muturi have emerged as front runners in the race for the Speaker of the National Assembly.

Abdikadir was the chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on the Implementation of the Constitution and the Justice and Legal Affairs team that were critical to the process.

A lawyer, Abdikadir is considered a sober and neutral person who gets along with all sides of the political divide and is bound to give Marende a run for his money.

Marende will be banking on his track record of making ‘Solomonic rulings’ that held the wrangling Grand Coalition Government together.

Muturi served in the Ninth Parliament as MP for Siakago and contributed immensely both on the floor of the House and in the Committees.

Former Speaker Francis Ole Kaparo and former Turkana Central MP Ekwe Ethuro are the favourites for the Senate Speaker seat.

The election of the Speaker and Deputy in both Houses will be tricky, as this requires a two-thirds majority in the first round of voting.

If the two-thirds majority threshold is not attained, then the first and second candidates would be subjected to a second round of voting where the person with the highest number of votes will be declared elected.

In the Senate, the Jubilee Coalition has 29 seats to CORD’s 27 and each side would indeed need members from the fringe parties to secure the Speaker and Deputy Speaker slots. The Amani Coalition’s seats would therefore be crucial in the elections because KANU and UDF have three seats each.

In the National Assembly, Jubilee has a majority that could force a win in the second round of voting if the coalition does not lose some of its members to the opponent. Jubilee has 163 members, while CORD has 133.

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