17 October 2018

Kenya: Wamalwa Loses Poll Date Bid, Shifts Focus to Lowering 2/3 Threshold

Nairobi — An attempt by Members of the National Assembly to push the date of the General Election from August to December flopped again Wednesday after they failed to meet the requisite 233 vote threshold.

House Speaker Justin Muturi announced that the Constitutional Amendment Bill by Minority Deputy Whip Chris Wamalwa was defeated after only 187 out 349 MPs were present in the House.

"The list of Members present electronically is 172, the list of members present is 15, total number of members present in the House if 187, accordingly, members, the House cannot proceed to vote on the motion for second reading therefore the motion is defeated," Muturi noted.

The Constitution dictates that the House must have attained two-thirds of MPs or 233 MPs in order for the Speaker to propose the question on whether a proposed constitution amendment can be adopted or rejected.

This is third time the House has failed in its attempt to move the General Election date after former Ugenya MP David Ochieng, who twice saw bid flop after he failed to muster quorum to propel to the next legislative step.

Following the defeat, Wamalwa said he had now shifted his focus on lowering the two-thirds threshold required to amend provisions touching on the Bill of Rights.

"Maybe it is the highest time that we should revisit the two-thirds provision, because it seems it is impossible to raise this numbers, Mr Speaker," Wamalwa stated.

But Speaker Muturi reminded him that the two-thirds provision was put in place to ensure the rights of Kenyans is not tempered with.

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