MPs fail to elect EALA members

The 11th parliament will not elect members to the regional assembly in Arusha, after all.

Parliament adjourned Thursday without an agreement between the two main coalitions on who will represent Kenya at the fourth East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), which was supposed to have been inaugurated on June 4.

The two leading coalitions have been bickering over the procedure of the elections after Cord submitted only five nominees seeking the approval of the House.

This means that EALA cannot proceed with its business because Kenya has not elected its representatives to the assembly which the legislative arm of the East African Community.

RULES

Instead, the Senate Thursday adopted a report of the joint select committee that was established by the two houses to look into the suitability of the nominees.

The joint committee has proposed that the elections be deferred until the rules for the elections are amended.

The report has proposed amendments of Rule 6 of EALA Election Rules so that in future political parties will have to submit three names per slots allocated to them so as to allow MPs the power to cast ballots.

The report further calls for the extension of the timeliness required for holding the election to facilitate the holding of the election to be undertaken.

This means that the elections could be the first business of the 12th parliament once it reconvenes in September after the General Election.

FIVE SLOTS

Senate Majority leader Kithure Kindiki told the Nation on Thursday that Cord must comply with the requirement that it submits seven more names to give MPs the freedom to make a choice.

“We are still waiting for Cord to comply. If they do, the Jubilee Party is ready to call special sitting even tomorrow (Friday) to do the elections,” Professor Kindiki said.

The two leading coalitions have been involved in the pull and push over the procedures of election members to the Assembly.

The joint committee allocated Cord four slots while the ruling coalition was allocated five.

Cord triggered the standoff after it submitted only five names, with Jubilee legislators complaining that the opposition had tied members’ hands by refusing denying them the freedom to choose.

The joint committee followed it up and recommended that Cord adds 7 extra names to allow members to exercise their freedom of choice.

Cord has insisted that the five names it submitted fall within the minimum threshold required by the existing rules and regulations and has vowed to never submit the extra names as proposed by the committee.

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