Capital FM (Nairobi)

Kenya: Parties Assure East African Legislative Assembly Applicants of Fairness

Nairobi — The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and Party of National Unity (PNU) Parliamentary Chief Whips on Friday assured the applicants to the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) that the rules of nominations will be followed by the parties in choosing the nine representatives.

Speaking after receiving 117 applications from the Clerk of the National Assembly Patrick Gichohi, Joint Government Chief Whips Jakoyo Midiwo and Johnson Muthama promised party members who have applied for slots that the Rule 5 of the Treaty for the establishment of East African Community (Election of Members of the Assembly) would be followed to the letter.

The positions attracted a record 117 candidates with ODM having 65 while 47 applicants were from PNU.

One candidate whose application did not indicate the party from which they were seeking nomination was disqualified.

The Joint Whips will now take the lists of applicants to their parties for nomination in a process that is likely to spark fresh wrangles in the parties following the recent political re-alignments and fall outs.

In the previous nominations ODM had taken up five of the nine slots because it is the majority party in Parliament.

However, the recent walk-out by Deputy Party Leaders William Ruto and Musalia Mudavadi could complicate matters for the orange party after ODM MPs allied to the two announced that they would expect to get nominees too.

Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi ditched ODM for the United Democratic Front (UDF), while Ruto left to form the United Republican Party (URP).

But Muthama said PNU and its 24 affiliate parties will find a solution on the way forward to ensure their nominees are representative while Midiwo said the party will consider genuine members for the slots allocated to them .

"We will give everyone a fair chance," the ODM whip said.

Gichohi challenged the parties to adhere to the nomination rules and drew the attention of the political parties to the provisions of Article 50 (2) of the Treaty for the establishment of East African Community, which provides, in part, that a person is qualified to be elected a member of EALA if the person is qualified to be elected a member of the National Assembly of a partner state under its constitution.

He said: "The parties must submit a record of minutes of their nominations when they return their nominees to Parliament next Friday."

The public will be allowed to inspect the nominee's forms at Parliament's County Hall on May 26.

Thereafter the names will be forwarded to the Parliamentary Departmental Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations for vetting on May 30.

The whole House will approve the names on June 1 after the parliamentary committee completes the vetting process.

Last Friday, the National Assembly invited applications from interested persons for the positions of Member of EALA to replace MPs whose term will expire on June 4.

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