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Parliament has until September 7 to convene first sitting

Kenya’s bicameral Parliament now has until September 7 to convene its first sitting following the gazettement of elected legislators.

But the swearing-in of National Assembly and Senate members will have to wait for the gazettement of legislators who will be nominated to the two Houses.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on Tuesday published in the official Kenya Gazette the names of 289 elected MPs and 1,449 Members of the County Assembly (MCAs).

Last week, it gazetted the names of 47 woman representatives and the same number of elected senators.

Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wah was gazetted alongside the senators since he was unopposed.

“We’ll be working on that list in the next few days,” IEBC commissioner Roselyne Akombe told the Nation yesterday regarding nominated MPs. “We hope to gazette them some time next week.”

NOMINATED MEMBERS

Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi said that, for the House to be considered fully constituted, it must include the nominated members.

“It may pose a legal challenge to proceed with the first business without the nominated members,” said Mr Muturi.

At their first sitting in the respective Houses, the lawmakers will be sworn in by the Clerk and then proceed to elect the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker.

“We will continue consulting the Presidency in case of legal challenges that might be caused by late gazettement of nominated members,” said Clerk of the National Assembly Michael Sialai.

Speakers are elected from among non-MPs but their deputies are sitting legislators.

SENATE

MCAs should, however, be sworn in by August 30.

The County Governments Act requires them to be sworn in by the County Assembly Clerk within 14 days after the announcement of the final results of an election.

But, following an amendment to the Act, the elected MCAs cannot be sworn in before their nominated colleagues.

The IEBC has to, within 30 days, allocate nominated seats proportional to those won by individual parties in the election.

Parties will nominate 12 people to the National Assembly, 20 to the Senate and as much a number as required in the County Assembly to ensure that one gender does not have more than two-thirds of representation in the House.

After gazettement, the President can convene the first sitting.

However, the parliamentary election was not done in Kitutu Chache South after a candidate died a few days to the polls. 

Positions in focus include those of Speakers and their deputies.

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