Quorum hitch set to affect House debates as MPs embark on early campaigns

Leader of Majority in the national Assembly Aden Duale. Mr Duale said quorum hitches are likely to be experienced in the coming days as campaigns heat up.

Both the senate and the National Assembly might not be able to pass key bills and adopt committee reports as MPs set their eyes on 2017 campaigns.

Lack of quorum in both houses of Parliament is now threatening to cripple key house activities especially passage of constitutional bills and adoption of committee reports.

MPs and senators have already embarked on early vote-hunting missions in their respective constituencies leaving both the National Assembly and Senate lacking in required numbers to transact key businesses.

The eleventh Parliament’s term lapses in May next year when it is expected to be dissolved by President Uhuru Kenyatta to give the politicians time to campaign for the general elections scheduled for August.

However, concerns have already been raised with fears that MPs may not meet the constitutional deadlines for key bills due to less numbers available at any given time to transact any business in the House.

X news, has established that important House and committee sessions have had to be adjourned several times for lack of quorum as most MPs are camping at the grassroots to drum support for themselves.

A host of incumbents are facing a fierce battle to retain their seats with newcomers also plotting to dislodge them from their positions.

Over 10 senators and more than 30 MPs have expressed interest in running for governorship positions.

Last week, upon its resumption from a 15-day recess, the National Assembly could not raise a quorum of 233 legislators out of the 349 to vote on a constitutional amendment Bill seeking to realise the long awaited two-thirds gender rule.

The bill proposes progressive women representation in the National Assembly and Senate, unlike a similar draft that was defeated twice late last year and early this year.

The National Gender and Equality Commission and Female MPs are opposed to the bill.

National Assembly Majority Aden Duale says that he does not see anything wrong with quorum hitches in both houses.

“Lack of quorum is very normal when the House is in its last year to the general election. Every year when elections are around the corner there is always lethargy, people are busier campaigning, putting their constituencies and house in order,” Duale explained.

“In fact we will have serious quorum hitch as we come back in February. The House will be hit hard…That is why I have prioritised all serious businesses of government to be done between now and end of February,” he added.

Duale, who is the Garissa Township MP reckoned that he has listed serious business, including the 2017-18 budget and approving the appointment of new IEBC commissioners, during the time stated.

He said the new law barring aspirants from party hopping after losing in nominations, doubled up with  public and private officers’ impending resignation for elective seats have pushed MPs into early campaigns.

Ordinarily, the two-month campaigns for various elective seats are supposed to kick off after Parliament is dissolved.

“The elections are barely nine months. People are about to resign from government and public sector to present their candidature before communities, clans and voters. The competition is now real. National Assembly members, senators and governors are going back in constituencies and counties,” Duale said.

 

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