Parliament to sit next week as Speaker’s posts attract big names

National Assembly

The 1st sitting of the 12th Parliament will be held on Thursday next week (August 31). President Uhuru Kenyatta has convened the first sitting of the National Assembly and Senate, in compliance with Article 126(2) of the Constitution. 

The 348 members of the National Assembly-elect and the 67 Senators-elect will convene in their respective chambers at 2.30 pm on Thursday, for their inaugural sittings, 23 days after their election.

The first order of business in the two Chambers of Parliament will be the swearing in of the elected and nominated legislators by their respective clerks. The National Assembly members will have their oaths administered by Clerk Micheal Sialai, while the Senators will be sworn in Clerk Jeremiah Nyegenye. 

The National Assembly will for the time being have 348 members, awaiting the Kitutu Chache Parliamentary election. The constituency’s electorate did not elect a Legislator after the polls were called off, following the death of Jubilee candidate Leonard Gwaro Mwamba in a road accident. IEBC is yet to announce date of a parliamentary contest in the constituency. 

Once members of the two Chambers of Parliament are sworn in, they will then elect their respective speakers and deputies. Clerks of the Senate and National Assembly are expected to declare the seats vacant and invite applications from those eyeing the plum positions in the bicameral legislature.

Outgoing National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi is seeking a fresh 5-year term. Former Budalangi MP, Ababu Namwamba’s name has been mentioned among those interested in the seat. Kuresoi North MP-elect, Moses Cheboi, is among those considered for election as Deputy Speaker. 

In the Senate, outgoing Speaker, David Ekwee Ethuro, will be seeking re-election. He will, however, have to contend with opposition from among others, former Constitution Implementation Commission Chairman, Charles Nyachae, who unsuccessfully contested in the Kisii Senate race that was clinched by ODM’s Prof. Sam Ongeri. Former Murang’a Senator, Kembi Gitura has also declared interest in the seat, and so has former Migori Senator Dr. Wilfred Machage.

Gitura was trounced by Irungu Kang’ata while Machage lost to Mathias Robi in the Kuria West parliamentary contest. Kiambu Senator, Kimani Wamatangi, Muranga’s Irungu Kang’ata and Susan Kihika of Nakuru are among the frontrunners in the Deputy Speaker’s contest.

Jubilee has a majority in the two chambers of Parliament.

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Story By Francis Gachuri
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