4 December 2018

Kenya: House Business Committee Meets Tuesday Over Gender Bill Vote

Nairobi — The National Assembly House Business Committee is Tuesday set to convene a meeting to determine when MPs will vote on the two thirds gender Bill after the House failed to do so last week over a quorum hitch.

Speaker Justin Muturi directed committee - which sets the agenda of the House - to meet on Tuesday after MPs failed to meet the requisite 233 members out of the 349 needed to have facilitated passage of the Bill.

The 29-member committee which is chaired by the Speaker usually takes decisions and issues directives and guidelines to prioritise or postpone any business of the House acting with concurrence of the Leader of the Majority Party or the Leader of the Minority Party.

This is the third attempt by Parliament to have the Bill passed after previous attempts in the 11th Parliament flopped after it was shot down by both the National Assembly and Senate.

About 42 new seats are required in the National Assembly on top of the current 75 women MPs, while in the Senate about five slots are needed on top of the 18 nominated and three elected, to meet the requirements of Article 81 (b) of the Constitution.

Majority Leader Aden Duale was last week forced to request the Speaker to postpone the vote on the Bill after it emerged that there were only 212 MPs present in the chamber when he was called to collude debate on the Bill.

Duale suggested that he may consider standing down of the vote until when MPs resume from their Christmas recess in February next year.

According to the House calendar, the legislators are scheduled to break for the recess on Friday, December 7, 2018.

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