28 March 2013

Kenya: Muturi of Uhuru's Jubilee Is MP's Speaker

Nairobi — President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta's Jubilee Alliance candidate Justin Muturi has been elected Speaker of the eleventh National Assembly of Kenya.

"I now declare Muturi Justin Bedan Njoka Speaker of the National Assembly and I direct the Sergeant at Arms to search for the said Muturi to appear for swearing in," the Clerk of the National Assembly Justin Bundi said soon after the election.

Muturi took his oath of office after garnering 90 more votes than his closest competitor, immediate former National Assembly Speaker, Kenneth Marende.

"I will obey, respect, uphold, reserve, protect and defend the constitution of the Republic of Kenya and I will faithfully and conscientiously discharge the duties of a Member of Parliament so help me God."

Muturi who got 219 votes to Marende's 129 during a second round of voting got the full backing of Jubilee after Abdikadir Mohammed pulled out of the race in his favour.

Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto and Nairobi Senator Gideon Mbuvi were in the parliamentary chamber to witness the election of Muturi even as a section of the opposition criticised their presence.

At the onset, four candidates were cleared to run for the office of National Assembly Speaker but Bundi announced that two of them had dropped out of the race before the voting exercise kicked off.

"I have received letters from two candidates indicating that they have withdrawn. That is Mwangi Harrison and Sirat Mohammed."

The National Assembly Speaker joins Ekwe Ethuro, another Jubilee nominee, in presiding over the bicameral Parliament.

Both Houses, the Senate and National Assembly, were forced to go for a second round of voting after the candidates failed to garner the required two-thirds majority in the first round.

Bundi declared the National Assembly needed to go for a second round of voting after Muturi garnered 202 votes in the first round to Marende's 144 with the total votes cast being 348.

"The results for election of Speaker require that for one to be elected Speaker he must have two-thirds of the total vote. We have not been able to get two-thirds and therefore we shall go for the second round; two-thirds is 233 votes."

Muturi thanked his supporters in his election speech but encouraged the National Assembly to come together and put the interests of Kenyans first irrespective of their differences.

"I thank you for showing confidence in me by electing me your speaker. From this moment and moving forward, the institution of the National Assembly becomes my constituency. This is the greatest privilege of my professional life."

Marende conceded following the final tally and attributed the loss to some of the controversial rulings he made as the Speaker of the tenth Parliament, "I went through a lot of challenges. There are decisions I made that rubbed people the wrong way but I am a man of faith and I will overcome this."

Muturi's first order of business was conducting the election of his deputy.


Olive Burrows has been writing features for the last five years having studied communication at Daystar University. She hopes to make a difference through human interest features and is passionate about the environment. She hopes to grow her experience doing radio and video features at Capital FM and to contribute to the brand's tradition of trend setting.

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