NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 18 – Leader of Majority in the National Assembly Aden Duale has defended the government against claims it delayed Constitutional Bills, and instead accused the Opposition of double standards since they supported extension of deadlines when in power.
Duale absolved the Executive from any blame over delays in the processing of the bills saying the responsibility of enacting laws lay squarely on Members of Parliament (National Assembly and Senate) which included legislators from the Opposition.
“The Opposition can criticize the Executive on the implementation of manifestos, but Parliament… their work is to deal with legislation (government and private),” he added.
“It was done in the last government where former Prime Minister (Raila Odinga) served. That motion for extension was moved by Leader of Government Business who was none other than former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka; I think Kenyans need good laws and not a blame game.”
He questioned why the Opposition had not originated some of the controversial Bills which they had now come out to oppose, saying all stakeholders should have taken charge of the process.
“There is no Bill that belongs to government; it belongs to the people who have 349 representatives. If we do not legislate the people who are at risk of being sent home is Parliament, not the Executive… let us not mislead the public,” he added.
He further expressed confidence that he would marshal support in Parliament despite opposition from the CORD coalition to reach the two thirds threshold required to pass the motion on the extension.
“My business is to introduce and lobby and I can confidently say that will be achieved because we work for the people of Kenya,” he stated.
He joked that the Opposition was simply spoiling for a fight so as to stay relevant telling them to concentrate on the Uganda sugar issue.
Duale is proposing a one year extension of the enactment of Constitutional Bills, an issue the Opposition says they will not support.
Meanwhile, Constitution Implementation and Oversight Committee chairman Njoroge Baiya Tuesday afternoon tabled the request to extend the period for enactment of legislation required to have been ratified by August 27.
“Pursuant to the provision of article 261(2) of the Constitution this House resolves to extend the period prescribed for the enactment of legislation required under the Constitution to be enacted by Parliament within five years by a period of 12 months from 27th August 2015,” said Baiya.
Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi handed over the request to the House Business Committee which will sit Tuesday evening to determine when the notice will appear on the Order Paper.