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Six in race for National Assembly Speaker

Justin Muturi and Ken Lusaka are the front runners for the National Assembly and Senate speakers respectively after meeting the requirements for the elections due Thursday, when the two Houses of Parliament will be meeting for the first time after the just concluded general election.

In the National Assembly, Mr Muturi is likely to retain the seat easily from a list of three who met the requirements.

The others are the little known Dr Noah Migudo and Mr Washington Onyango. The three were selected from a list of six applicants, who had returned their nomination papers before the deadline of yesterday 9am.

NOMINATION

The National Assembly rules require that those seeking the Speaker and Deputy Speaker nomination must return the papers supported by at least 20 signatures of the elected members. By the time Mr Muturi was returning his papers, he had signatures of more the 83 MPs.

According to National Assembly Clerk Michael Sialai, 23 applicants had shown interest for the position but only six managed to return their nomination papers.

Mr Bonface Augo, Gladys Kasiva and Mr Isaac Wainaina are among the six, who complied with the Thursday 9am deadline but were knocked out after failing to get the required support.

Kuresoi North MP Mr Moses Cheboi is also set to be confirmed the National Assembly Deputy Speaker.

Mr Sialai told journalists within Parliament buildings that Mr Cheboi was the only applicant who returned his nomination papers from a list three who applied for the job.

HOUSE RULES

He had the support of at least 80 MPs by the time he was returning his papers.

MPs Martha Wangari (Gilgil) and Naisula Lesuuda (Samburu West), had shown interest for the seat but did not return their nomination papers as required by the House rules.

Mr Cheboi will be seeking to replace Dr Joyce Laboso, who until her election as Bomet governor in the recent elections, was Sotik MP.

However, Mr Sialai noted that Mr Cheboi’s name will still have to go through the normal parliamentary process before it’s confirmed by the speaker, who will have already been elected to preside over the election of the Deputy Speaker.

In the Senate, Mr Ethuro, the incumbent, is facing stiff competition from former Bungoma Governor Ken Lusaka, who lost to Mr Wycliffe Wangamati in the August 8, 2017 elections.

CLEARED

Senate Clerk Mr Jeremiah Nyegenye said already seven candidates have been cleared for the race.

Other than Mr Ethuro and Mr Lusaka, the others are Farah Maalim, who was defeated by Mr Aden Duale for Garissa Township MP, former West Mugirango MP James Gesami, Paul Gichuke, former Migori Senator Wilfred Machage and Mr Ramesh Gorasia, who was the Wiper candidate for Nairobi Senator position in the just concluded election.

A total of 21 collected nomination papers but 14 returned them and only seven were certified for the election.

Former Constitution Implementation Committee chairman Mr Charles Nyachae and former Kisii Senator Mr Chris Obure, who were thought to be frontrunners in the race, did not return their nomination papers.

The race for Senate deputy speaker could however, be the most interesting and competitive.

Mr Nyegenye confirmed that four candidates out of five who had picked their nomination papers are expected to square it out.

ELECTIONS

With the incumbent- former Murang’a Senator Mr Kembi Gitura out of contention, the fight is now between Senators Mr Kimani Wamatangi (Kiambu), Mr Johnson Sakaja (Nairobi), Mr Irungu Kangata (Murang’a) and Ms Susan Kihika (Nakuru).

Uasin Gishu Senator Prof Margaret Kamar did not return her papers effectively knocking herself out of the race.

The Senate rules require that one must be proposed by at least one elected Senator and seconded by another to qualify for the election.

The same rules also require that the Clerk prepare the ballot papers showing the list of candidates at least two hours before the first meeting of the House.

The positions, in the National Assembly and Senate were advertised by their respective speakers on August 25. Those interested were required to pick their application papers from the date of advertisement to August 28.

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