MPs proceed on recess amid unfinished business ahead of election

  • National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi however told the MPs that they may be recalled during the break to consider crucial bills.
  • The two Houses of Parliament have dozens of pending bills, motions and questions that are yet to be concluded.
  • The members of the National Assembly used the final day of the current session to secure bills and statements that risked being lost.

Parliament has proceeded on a two-month break to allow members to focus on constituency business and celebrate the forthcoming Christmas holidays.

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi however told the MPs that they may be recalled during the break to consider crucial bills.

The two Houses of Parliament have dozens of pending bills, motions and questions that are yet to be concluded, now posing a risk that some of the crucial bills may be lost in the transition towards next year’s general election.

The members of the National Assembly used the final day of the current session to secure bills and statements that risked being lost.

Speaker Muturi called on the members to extend the life of some 25 bills that were read the first time in the year 2020, and also extended the life of statements sought in the current session.

This means committees that had been pursuing statements raised by members can continue to do so in the sixth session which begins in January next year.

The House is yet to conclude crucial business in the vetting and approval of a nominee for the Equalization Fund Advisory Board, the nominee for Public Service Commission chair, a commissioner for the National Gender and Equality Commission and the consideration of the 2022 budget policy statement.

This may require the summoning of the House for a special sitting.

The president in his State of the Nation address on Tuesday had called on Parliament to expedite conclusion of at least seven bills pending before the House. Three of them are pending at the National assembly.

The Speaker said that the House will resume earlier than usual, that is January 25 next year, to give the House ample time to heed the president’s request.

A crucial bill before the House is the Political Parties Amendment Bill. The House reduced the publication period from 14 days to six days.

The bill proposes to change how the political parties fund is shared among parties.

At the moment, 95 per cent of the fund is shared among parties based on the total votes they got in the previous election.

For parties with less than 5 per cent of the votes, they get no penny. Such parties that may have shelved their presidential ambitions in a coalition agreement still lose the share, like happened to NASA member parties until ODM agreed to share the resources allocated to it.

The Amendment Bill seeks to recognize coalition political parties and allow coalition partners to receive a share of the fund.

The sharing formula is proposed to change, so that 70 per cent of the resources are shared among parties based on their total votes garnered in the previous general election. 15 per cent are to be shared based on the proportionate number of members elected from special interests under a party.

Another ten per cent is to be shared based on the total number of elected representatives under a party.

Should the bill become law, then political parties whose registered office holders exceed two thirds of either gender will be disqualified from the fund.

Any party with no special interests representatives in the governing body will also be locked out.

A party without an elected member of the National Assembly, Senator, Governor or MCA will also be disqualified.

The Political Parties Amendment Bill is a crucial legislative piece ahead of coalition building for the next general election.