Amendment of Elections Act 2011 Fails To Sail Through

Bunge

Members of Parliament

The proposal by Members of Parliament to extend party hopping period has hit turbulence after three ODM aligned MPs opposed fast amendment to Elections Act 2010. Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim (ODM) deferred the third reading to tomorrow. Members of Parliament were this morning planning to rush amendments to the Elections Act to enable them keep their seats until January.

Chepalungu MP Isaac Ruto’s Elections Amendment Bill (Bill No. 58 of 2012) was scheduled was to go through the three stages so that it could be before the President for assentment later today. Over 100 MPs risk losing their parliamentary seats tomorrow if the law is not amended. That list includes leading presidential contenders Uhuru Kenyatta (KANU to TNA), William Ruto (ODM to URP) and Musalia Mudavadi (ODM to UDF).

The intention of the proponents of the amendment is to have them retain their parliamentary seats until the expiry of their terms in January 2013. Parliamentary standing orders require a minimum of three MPs to reject an attempt to rush through any issue by dropping any other business.

ODM MPs John Pesa, Nicholas Gumbo and Martin Ogindo effectively thwarted the attempt to seek ‘leave of the House’ at 11.24 am.

The Bill can only come back to Parliament if the House Business Committee puts it back on the Order Paper for the afternoon session. Still, its proponents would still have to seek the MPs’ permission for it to be debated.

Analysts have branded the Proposed  Election Amendment Bill by Chepalungu MP Isaac Ruto as a gross abuse of legislative powers and betrayal of public sovereign will.

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16 comments on “Amendment of Elections Act 2011 Fails To Sail Through

  1. once again MPs amend the law to further themselves and continue to earn salary that they do not deserve

    http://www.nation.co.ke/News/politics/MPs-alter-law-to-allow-more-time-for-defections/-/1064/1652510/-/lntuvnz/-/index.html

    for how long can these guys do this without penalty? at this rate these guys will amend the law to allow them to slide right into the elective posts without an election

    we need to stop these guys

    this puts a considerable strain on IEBC

    there are approx 50 political parties, at least half of these are going to field candidates.

    with last minute rushes, and knowing how party primaries can be chaotic, with elected candidates not getting nomination papers while other people produce nomination papers from somewhere else.

    these MPs lack of foresight is beyond comprehension

    instead of allowing themselves enough time to go through primaries and correct any anomalies in good time, they are setting themselves up for some last minute cock-ups.

    something tells me the greed for a few weeks of pay and house priviledges will boomerang on some of these guys

  2. with the MPs having successfully amended the act so that they can hop from one party to another at will and at any time right up to the day of the election (figuratively speaking), lets now wait and see how this plays out.
    initially the “clever” mps assumed that this will give them (a) bargaining power as politica parties woo them (b) provide them with a comfortable position from which they can hop around until they land into a party that will nominate them unconditionally.
    however karma is strange, and has different rules of engagement. what appears from a distance to be a solid rock on which to stand, quickly turns into a fluid swamp that will swallow you whole. for each of these guys it will play out differently but for now lets cast our eyes on our dear boy musalia mudavadi and his UDF boat. this boat has a hole in it twice the size of its length. its not about people defecting en masse, thats not what is catching the eye. what’s catching the eye, is the number of people totally disowning ever even being remotely associated with it.

    http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/?articleID=2000067824&story_title=MPs-decamp-from-Mudavadi-party

    http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/?articleID=2000067803&pageNo=2

    to say that mudavadi ship is sunk, would be to assume that the sea even wants to swallow this boat, most likely it will spit it up to shore

    http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/?articleID=2000067780&story_title=Mudavadi-only-wanted-to-please-his-allies

    http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/?articleID=2000067833&story_title=Mudavadi-seeking-a-voice-in-umbrella-party–

    i think this jamaa is going to crawl into a hole very fast ….

    we could have said …. we told you so …..

  3. Just how shameless can our MPs still get? Yaani these pigs can still literally twist the law to serve their own stomachs!

    And these are the very same people we are going to re-elect come next year?

    The fierce urgency of thorough voter education before the elections next year cannot be over-emphasised right now!

    How shameful!!!

  4. Thanks Phil; that’s a sad state of affairs but people can’t just accept it. I have always believed as it’s said in the west information is power. What you have said here needs to be said more and amplified and if we have an informed voting populace, they can elect leaders more responsive to their needs. I remain hopeful we shall accomplish this obviously monumental task.

    August may not be far fetched but if it happens, we would have taken one step forward and 20 backwards.

    Let’s hope not.

    • no surprise there. this was expected, the current lot of MPs vote with their stomachs, there was no way they would stop getting their paychecks at end of this month

  5. CIVIL SOCIETY CEO’s OPPOSE PARLIAMENTS MOVE ON PARTY HOPPING

    MEDIA STATEMENT 4TH OCTOBER 2012

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    We the undersigned, issue this statement on the pressing matter of Political party nominations as provided in the Elections and Political Parties Acts.

    We note that the period of nomination by political parties is drawing to a close. The present situation poses a grave challenge to political aspirants because all those who are not registered and active members of political parties will not be eligible for elective positions through political parties.

    Research demonstrates that less than 20% of potential voters are members of political parties. This means that 80% of potential voters will be locked out of political party nominations. This means that the pool of potential candidates will be very limited denying Kenyans the opportunity to choose from a new crop of leaders. This will also deny and denying potential aspirants the opportunity to vie.

    Therefore in the execution of our public mandate and as a responsibility to the people of Kenya we note the following:

    1. Potential Aspirants Need to Register with Political Parties We urge all potential aspirants need to join a political party by close of business of the 4th October 2012. Failure to join a political party will close out many prospective aspirants form political office, so join a political party of your aspirations today.

    2. We Condemn Parliaments’ Pecuniary Interest We condemn the move by parliament to once again change the elections law for short term interests. Any changes made to this law will also bind the next parliament and the dilution of party accountability provisions in this manner will undermine political discipline in the long run. the amendment proposed by parliament is unconstitutional and will be challenged in court as it is driven by pecuniary interests of the members of the house, regardless of its long term negative consequences.

    3. Role of Registrar of Political Parties

    There is confusion over the closure period for aspirants- between October 4th and October 17th. This confusion has persisted without a clear statement by registrar of political parties. We ask for clarity over
    this issue.

    We note that the term of the registrar of political parties has expired and this situation appears to undermine the assertiveness of the acting registrar. We call for the immediate appointment of a registrar of political parties to enforce electoral discipline.

    4. 2/3rds Gender Rule

    We note that there is a stalemate over the 2/3rds gender rule. We are bitterly disappointed by the inability of political party leaders to resolve this impasse through direct party nominations that will allow the additional gender seats be catered for within the provided seats, to prevent a bloated legislature at national and county level which is not economically sustainable.

    We call upon the political party leaders as they finalize their party nomination rules to ensure they provide for the 2/3rds gender rule. We
    call on voters to shun any party which does not support the 2/3rds gender rule.

    5. Voter Education
    As we support the launch of voter education by the IEBC and undertake to support the voter education around the country. We remind Kenyans to attend voter education meetings, understand the voting rules and processes and abide by them.

    The CEO’s Forum Supports Uongozi Community Aid International, CRECO, Inuka, The Institute for
    Social Accountability, Transparency International, URAIA, Youth Agenda.

    Media contact: Franc Mwangi
    Tel: 4443676/0721659024
    Email: franc.mwangi@tisa.or.ke

  6. Phil,
    What I have actually never really gotten around to establishing is how reliable or effective whipping is in Parliament? Are there tactical maneuvers a whip can employ to frustrate consideration of a bill where the controlling majority does not have numbers? Who is our to go to Parliamentarian? I know the People’s Watchman used to be one back in the day.

    I ponder because I can see these MPs giving everyone the middle finger and voting their individual interests, which in this case is deferring as much as possible ability to switch parties.

    Where a line on the sand must be drawn, though, is any effort to extend the life of Parliament and the presidency beyond March.

    • Regrettably, the 10th parliament has made a terribly bad name for itself given the pegging bribes to influence the passage of bills, censure motions, committee reports, etc etc. The legislature is under the control of rich status quoist who take advantage of the fact most MPs use parliament as a stepping stone to wealth accumulation. Currently not less than 10 MPs have huge unpaid loans against their payslips, so you can imagine. The you have people like Wiliam Ruto who pay huge sums each weekend for MPs attending their party functions.

      This sad state of affairs leaves very little room for political party chief whips to enforce their authorities. It also makes the MPs themselves not to make laws for posterity but short political goals. I’ll give you an example of the Waki recommended special tribunal for Kenya, remember?

      The laws that could make things change and possibly bring sanity to our politics is being dilutted right before our eyes and ethnically polarised Kenyans cannot see that this directly impacts on them. It is unfortunate!

      My view is that implementing the recently passed constitution will be an uphill task for any government that takes over next year even when they have majority members in senate and parliament.

      In fact, the president and deputy state president must be very careful because a rogue parliament could easily send them home prematurely.

      If we fix laws governing political parties and elections, then perhaps we shall get parliament under control.

      Omwenga, from the look of things, August elections is not a far fetched idea.

  7. Looking at the opinion polls by infotrak it is very true that these polls are manipulated ,how is it that a small company like infotrak can afford to poll 11k respondents yet synovvate which has been in the game only 2.9k? ,i think infotrak is more representative because the numbers are more realisitic.My take is that synovvate are playing games to please TNA so that G7 can rally behind UK in the runoff but i doubt if this will happen ,alot of pain and suffering was realized by kenyans under the Kenyatta regime and most of the victims were in the western region which include RV ,Western and Nyanza.Mtoto wa nyoka ni…?

  8. phil,

    although this is a temporary relief, this is very worrying and chances are that the MPs will troop back to vote for this amendment. each of the MPs have different personal reasons
    a) for some like mudavadi, william ruto, uhuru, who are self confident in their new found leaderships of their new parties, its the ability to still influence from the floor of the house through their proxies

    b) for the two DPMs and other cabinet ministers, they definitely still want to fly the flag

    c) for those still struggling to form their parties like balala, they need more time

    d) but the majority of defectors, many MPs cannot fathom losing their paychecks at the end of this month, which is the reality of if that law comes into effect and they don’t really care about a hung parliament or political party allegiance or by-elections. its the money

    and we all know how these folks think when they paycheck is at stake.

    if there is anyway that a significant number of MPs who are not party hoppers can come together and block this amendment, they will make kenyans proud and start paving the way out for a number of these present crop of legislators

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