NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 27 – National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has allowed a second vote on the Constitution Amendment Bill on change of the election date from August to December every fifth year.
The Speaker said denying the legislators a chance for a second vote would have “the effect of limiting the rights and powers of the House as a master of its own destiny.”
He directed the vote will now be conducted on October 1 after the House resumes from its month-long recess. The MPs are slated to go on a break this Thursday and return on September 29.
“The request by Ugenya MP David Ochieng to take a further vote on the motion for the Second Reading of the Constitution of Kenya Amendment Bill National Assembly Bill No. 1 2015, has been granted and consequently be executed within five sitting days from the day of the first vote in line with the Standing Orders,” Muturi directed.
Speaker Muturi further used the opportunity to give guidance to the House on how future scenarios will be handled to avoid uncertainties on the fate of Bills.
“In future any member seeking to request for a further vote on a Special Motion or a Bill whose passage requires a fixed majority of the House membership shall only be granted: (a) if the Sponsor of the said, Special Motion or Bill raises in his or her place immediately the Speaker announces the results and seeks the further vote and (b) if at least 30 members stand in their places indicating their support for the further vote,” he directed.
Ugenya MP David Ochieng who sponsored the Bill had petitioned the Speaker for a re-vote citing that similar treatment was given Samburu West MP Lati Lelit’s Bill that sought to increase marginalised region’s share of equalization funds which will be voted on afresh in September despite suffering defeat.
Ochieng had received support during the debating stage with MPs contending an August poll will interfere with the budget cycle, the national examination calendar and peak tourism season.
The attempt was declared lost on Tuesday after it was supported by 216 MPs because it failed to muster the requisite 233 thresh-hold needed to propel to the next legislative.