MPs extend constitutional deadlines, fail to change poll date

August 25, 2015 3:13 pm
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The amendment was supported by 216 MPs, some 17 MPs shy of the 233 required to put the matter to vote/FILE
The amendment was supported by 216 MPs, some 17 MPs shy of the 233 required to put the matter to vote/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 25 – A Bill seeking to change the election date from August to December has been lost after the MPs failed to raise the required two-thirds majority requirement to pass the constitutional amendment.

The amendment was supported by 216 MPs, some 17 MPs shy of the 233 required to put the matter to vote.

“It therefore means that the Bill having not reached the required thresh-hold of 233 members to vote in the affirmative is lost. So the Bill is defeated at the second reading,” National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi said after announcing the results.

Failure to pass the constitutional amendment means that the next General Election will be held on the second Tuesday of August of each five year election cycle.

The Bill which was sponsored by Ugenya MP David Ochieng’ had received support during the debating stage with MPs citing the August poll will interfere with the budget cycle, the national examination calendar and peak tourism season.

READ: Courts or President to determine referendum over poll date change

At the same time, the National Assembly also approved a special motion seeking to extend the timelines for passing fifteen constitutional bills by a year.

Some 260 MPs supported the motion which had been tabled by Constitutional Implementation Oversight Commission chairman Njoroge Baiya.

Only 11 MPs voted against the motion.

The vote comes after a Speaker’s Kamukunji which resolved to support the 12 months proposal saying the extension will be sufficient to enact the Bills some of which have not been published for formal introduction to the House.

READ: Muturi bars MPs’ travel until constitutional bills passed

They include the Minimum and Maximum Land Holding Acreage, Agreements on National Resources Bill, Community Land Bill, Physical Planning Bill, Land Use Bill and Evictions Bill.

Others are the Energy Bill, the Petroleum Exploration and Production Bill, the Bill on Representation of Marginalized Groups, Two-Thirds Gender Principle Bill.

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