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Uhuru, Raila big win as Senate passes Political Parties Amendment Bill 2021

By Justus Karanja

The Senate last night passed the Political Parties Amendment Bill setting the stage for President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured above with Raila) to sign into law.

Once the President assents the Bill, the country will have a law that allows political parties to field candidates jointly under a coalition party.

But there are fears Deputy President William Ruto-led United Democratic Alliance (UDA) and activists might move to court to block the Bill.

In the Senate, Ruto allies had staged a spirited fight against the bill describing it as a tool designed for selfish political interests.

The senators passed the Bill without any amendments despite a spirited effort by United Democratic Alliance (UDA) leaning members who had proposed 15 amendments.

Senators led by Irungu Kang'ata (Murang'a), Petronila Were (Nominated), Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Marakwet), Enoch Wambua (Kitui), Samson Cheragei (Nandi) and Isaac Mwaura (Nominated) filed amendments to the bill which were rejected.

Kang’ata sought to have clause 22 that provides for methods of conducting party primaries deleted.

The clause provides for direct and indirect nominations

Cherargei had proposed amendments by seeking to expunge requirement that only registered party members can participate in a nomination.

Wambua, an ally of Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, dropped his proposed amendments.

 He had sought to amend clause seven of the bill that has exempted accounts of political parties from being audited.

President Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga had the final laugh when 28 Senators voted to support the bill with only three dissenting.

Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen described the bill as “terrible, hopeless and useless” while warning his colleagues from the rival camp that they will be the first victims of the law.

“The elections under the Constitution, is a function of IEBC, unfortunately, because some people want to micromanage political parties, they have given RPP the responsibility to manage political parties in terms of verifying registers and giving specific timelines,” protested Murkomen.

Similar opposition came from Senator Cherargei who accused the Senate Committee on Justice, Legal Affairs and Human Rights of allegedly being influenced by external forces in writing its reports.

After the passage of the bill, Cherargei said they would be moving to the courts exuding confidence that the court will strike out the bill that he termed as unconstitutional. 


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