The stage is set for a titanic battle for the Speaker’s seat in the National Assembly and the Senate after key politicians, among them the incumbents, picked up application forms for the top-most position in the Legislature.
Former Bungoma Governor Ken Lusaka, outgoing Kisii Senator Chris Obure and his Kuria colleague Wilfred Machage, as well as former chairman of the defunct Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC), Mr Charles Nyachae, have picked the forms to contest in the Thursday afternoon elections.
Senate Speaker Ekwee Ethuro also collected the forms.
Contrary to much-publicised reports that Mr Lusaka was headed for the National Assembly post, however, the former Permanent Secretary picked up the Senate form on Sunday at Parliament Buildings.
Some legislators supporting Mr Lusaka say he should be rewarded for standing with Jubilee Party in western Kenya region despite a strong Opposition wave.
He led a fruitful campaign that yielded eight MPs for the ruling party in the region.
Mr Obure lost the Kisii gubernatorial battle to incumbent James Ongwae while Mr Nyachae was beaten to the Senate seat by Prof Sam Ongeri.
Both losers, of Jubilee, were trounced by Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) candidates.
Candidates for the Senate Speaker’s post have to be qualified to be a senator. They also have to be supported by two senators-elect.
Three candidates—including the Jubilee MPs’ favourite, incumbent Justin Muturi — had picked up the National Assembly forms on Sunday.
Others are former independent candidates Moses Sakuda and Dr James Gesami, who, respectively, lost the Kajiado West MP seat to former Kajiado County Assembly Deputy Speaker George Sunkuyia (Jubilee) and incumbent John Nyagarama (ODM) in the Nyamira gubernatorial race.
Those interested in the position must have the qualifications of being an MP and be supported by 20 MPs-elect.
Senators-elect Susan Kihika (Nakuru), Kimani wa Matangi (Kiambu) and Johnson Sakaja (Nairobi) — eyeing the Deputy Speaker’s position.
“Other than the notable names, other Kenyans have also picked up application forms and we will continue to serve them,” said Clerk of the Senate Jeremiah Nyegenye.
The filled forms should be returned by 9am Tuesday.
Mr Kenneth Lusaka, who was to become Speaker, is being touted to take a Cabinet position