14 September 2017

Kenya: National Assembly Begins Work Despite Nasa Boycott

Members of Parliament on Wednesday began debate on President Uhuru Kenyatta's Tuesday speech, with those from his Jubilee Party and affiliates defending the address on the official opening of the 12th Parliament.

Wednesday's debate was boycotted by opposition colleagues, who said the Head of State was in office illegally.

National Super Alliance (Nasa) affiliated MPs attended the morning sitting but excused themselves to attend a parliamentary group meeting, leaving the floor to Jubilee MPs and their allies.

Those who spoke said despite the nullification of President Kenyatta's August 8 election win, he remained the Head of State enjoying all the powers of that office.

Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichun'gwa criticised the Judiciary, saying that its independence was in question.


He said some civil society groups had hired researchers for the judges to aid them in writing their judgments on the August 8 presidential election, which the Supreme Court nullified. The detailed judgment is due in a week.

"There is no vacuum in the presidency. Everybody, including the international community should know this. This country has a sitting President who we intend to re-elect in the repeat poll," Mr Ichung'wa, who was elected unopposed, said.

The Kikuyu MP alleged that Supreme Court judges were no longer undertaking independent research to come up with judgments. "We will not allow our judges to be lazy to a point where they abdicate their duties to some players sourced by civil societies. If they cannot put up with work, they should resign," he added.


Jubilee MPs also dismissed the conditions set by Nasa leader Raila Odinga and his team for them to participate in the repeat elections, telling the opposition leader to stop targeting IEBC officials every time he loses an election.

Leader of Majority Aden Duale said: "The Constitution creates no vacuum, even for a moment. Mr Kenyatta is still serving the first term in office. The law is very clear on that," Mr Duale told the House.

The Garissa Township MP said that President Kenyatta's presidency was fully restored after the Supreme Court ordered a repeat poll.

The electoral commission has already set October 17 as the date for the repeat poll.


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