10 June 2012

Kenya: Partyless MPs' Seats Safe, Says Ndung'u

Six MPs declared party-less will serve their full term in Parliament, Registrar of political Parties Lucy Ndung'u has said. Speaking during at the national conference on county forums and peaceful elections in Mombasa over the weekend, Ndung'u said current MPs' seats are protected by section 40 of the old constitution. Ndung'u was responding to a question by Kinangop MP David Ngugi, who had sought to know the implication of him being declared partyless.

Others on the list are MP Muturi Mwangi, Clement Waibara, Gideon Sonko Mbuvi, Richard Onyonka and Linah Jebii Kilimo. "The six MPs will serve their full term but they will have to join other political parties. They are protected by section 40 of the old constitutional on which they were elected before the current Political Party Act came into force," said Ndung'u.

She, however, blamed the Act of lacking clear mechanisms on who should initiate the process of throwing out MP after he or she ditches the party that sponsored them to Parliament. Ndung'u accused MPs of mutilating the Political Parties Bill at its initial stage saying such provisions had been entrenched before it became the Act. "The provisions we had put in the Bill were expunged when it was taken to Parliament for enactment. So it's difficult to act on the issue of 100 MPs, who have shifted party allegiance in the House," she said.

She said the court will rule to determine the fate of the MPs as provided for by the law, adding that the current situation was a little bit cumbersome. Changes to the Act, she said, had made it difficult to determine on how and at which point an MP may be deemed to have abandoned the party. "The one to deem the MP as having defected from the party is not clear in the Act and that is the cause of all this. The issue here is who is to trigger removal of rebel MPs from the august House," she added.

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