UDA-allied legislators vow to move to court if Senate passes Political Parties Bill
On Tuesday ahead of the special sitting convened by Senate speaker Kenneth Lusaka to debate the bill, Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei stated that the Deputy President William Ruto-led camp is determined to ensure that the law is not used in the August polls.
“If they push through, as UDA, we have indicated before that we will move to court to challenge this
unconstitutional and illegal amendment and ensure that this law shall not be used in the upcoming nominations,” said Cherargei.
The senator further said that following UDA’s newfound union with the Amani National Congress and FORD-Kenya, they were confident they had the numbers to overthrow the bill.
“We are ready and we have numbers, as we talk now we have a number of delegations. With the UDA-ANC-FORD-Kenya partnerships we are now taking it to another level,” Cherargei stated.
“We are also in talking terms with Wiper because they are also uncomfortable with the provision of a timeline that has been reduced to four months to deposit the coalition agreement.”
Senators will from Tuesday through Thursday debate the bill following its approval by the National Assembly in December.
The Senate Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC) which held a two-day public participation exercise last week will be tabling a report detailing its findings.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is among those who have taken issue with the bill.
The Commission argues that the definition of political party as coalition political party creates ambiguity on what a coalition of political parties was when other parties were allowed to field individual candidates.
Citing Section 27 of the Elections Act which requires a political party to submit its nomination rules to the commission at least 6 months before the nomination of its candidates, IEBC is challenging the proposed amendment requiring a coalition party to submit its coalition agreement at least 120 days before the election.
It warns that the timelines were not aligned with the electoral timelines.
IEBC, in its presentation to the JLAC noted that the provision mandating the registrar of political parties to certify the names appearing in party lists usurped its role.
The bill has put Azimio La Umoja-allied senators against those allied to DP Ruto, with the Azimio camp keen on ensuring the bill is hastily passed to facilitate the setting up of the Azimio La Umoja coalition party under the leadership of ODM leader Raila Odinga.