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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