Leave legislative work to Parliament, CORD tells Uhuru

CORD leaders
CORD leaders at the Naivasha retreat

The Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) has moved to court to contest the alleged usurping of the National Assembly’s powers by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

CORD, through its lawyer Anthony Oluoch, moved to the High Court to challenge a number of laws which they say came into force through presidential veto powers.

Majority Leader in the National Assembly Aden Duale has, however, defended the president’s move saying he is within the law to make his recommendations to Parliament.

CORD is seeking the Constitutional court’s interpretation of Article 115 of the Constitution on presidential assent and referral.

The coalition declared that the powers of the president are limited to making reservations and do not extend to making or sharing legislative powers with National Assembly or Senate, and that any proposed amendments by the president to delete or insert new clauses are unconstitutional.

The fresh battle which saw CORD MPs stage a walk-out from Parliament on Wednesday was prompted by President Kenyatta’s memorandum on excise duty.

CORD also wants the court to declare that reservations and proposed amendments contained in memorandum by the president are in breach of Constitution thereby null and void.

Duale has defended the president saying the MPs who walked out of Parliament Wednesday were insincere and guided by vested interests.

“We know what interests the MPs were serving. I won’t say but we know. The MPs could not approve the budget and when it comes to ways of financing it, they reject the mode,” said Duale.

Responding to CORD leader Raila Odinga’s statement that he wants to debate with President Kenyatta and not Duale regarding national issues, the Garissa Township MP stated that the president will not respond to Odinga directly.

“It is me who will be responding to Raila and not the president. In fact that will only happen when I have little time on the side because I am a very busy man,” Duale said.

CORD has asked the judge to forward the file to the chief justice for a bench of judges to be constituted to hear and determine contentious matter on excise duty.

Since his arrival from South Korea last week, Raila Odinga has been vocal on national issues,  accusing the Jubilee Government of putting the country in a financial crisis by spending more than it can afford, borrowing too much and corruption.

His sentiments were refuted by Duale who said claims that money is stashed in foreign accounts and is being used to trade in foreign stocks for private gains are misguided and unfortunate.

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Story By Alex Kubasu
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