NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 20 – Minority Coalition Deputy Whip in the National Assembly Chris Wamalwa is now seeking an amendment to ensure all political parties get a share of the Political Parties Fund.
Wamalwa’s move follows a High Court ruling last year which not only locked out 56 political parties from accessing Sh210 million but also the 0.3 percent of annual revenue that should be shared amongst political parties yearly.
The amendment by the Kiminini MP which is formally before the National Assembly, will make the monies available to all parties including the smaller ones that do not necessarily need to secure at least five percent of the total votes in a preceding general election.
Wamalwa wants to reduce the threshold of five percent to two percent being the minimum requirement that a political party needs to secure to be able to qualify for funding.
The Bill further seeks to include the requirement that for a party to qualify for funding, the party has to have at least five elected members of either the National Assembly, the Senate, County Governors or at least 25 members of the County Assembly.
The Bill went through the first reading in the National Assembly and was handed to the Justice and Legal Affairs committee for scrutiny ahead of debate.
Only TNA, ODM and URP meet the current requirements and are therefore eligible to share the Sh210 million to be handed out to them by the Registrar of Political Parties.
In the current financial year, TNA was allocated Sh89.3 million, ODM got Sh87.4 million while URP received Sh28.2 million.
Article 25 (2) of the Political Parties Act stipulates that a political party shall not be entitled to receive funding if “the party does not secure at least five percent of the total number of votes at the preceding general elections”.
According to the IEBC some 72,868,233 votes were cast in the March 2013 elections. This was the total for President, Governor, Senator, County Woman Representative, MP and ward representative.
For a party to qualify for the funding, it must have received five percent of the 72,868,233 total votes, which translates to a minimum of 3.4 million.
Parties locked out include Wiper Democratic Movement, Narc-Kenya, UDF and Kenya National Congress.
Others are Ford Kenya, New Ford Kenya, GNU, PICK and Tip-Tip.