Election of the new Nairobi County Assembly Speaker this afternoon will be conducted virtually, acting Speaker John Kamangu has announced.
Mr Kamangu, who also doubles up as Ruai MCA, said the decision was reached to comply with directives issued by Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua that discourage gatherings of more than four people, as well as Ministry of Health guidelines on social distancing.
He said only Assembly leadership made up of the Majority Leader, Whip and their deputies as well as Minority Leader, Whip and their deputies along with two members of the service board will be allowed entry into Chambers.
The other members will, however, follow the proceedings as well as cast their votes virtually through a link that will be provided by the office of the Clerk.
Voting will strictly be electronic using Zoom, the video conferencing platform.
MCAs have been told to ensure that their background is calm to avoid disruption of the proceedings.
"Members shall follow and participate in plenary proceedings virtually. Members desiring to join the virtual sittings shall strictly log in using their email and official means as gazetted," reads part the notice by Mr Kamangu.
Mr Kamangu further pointed out that Standing Orders of the Assembly shall be applied in the manner they are done during a physical meeting.
Six candidates from the seven earlier shortlisted will battle it out for the chance to replace Ms Elachi who resigned on Tuesday. This is after former speaker Alex ole Magelo withdrew from the race to support Jubilee Party candidate and ex-Makadara MP Benson Mutura.
Others are former Nairobi Deputy Speaker Ken Ngondi, former Nairobi Economic Planning chief officer Dr Washington Makodingo, Abdi Ali Abdi who came second to Ms Elachi in the 2017 Speaker election, Mike Obonyo Guoro and Allan Chacha Mang'era.
The Jubilee Party, nonetheless, announced that its members will gather at party headquarters in Pangani to cast their votes.
Majority Whip Waithera Chege said their members will be expected to report at Pangani at 1.45pm, except the leadership, with voting expected to be done at the venue.
"All Jubilee MCAs shall be having in-house meeting as agreed and since we might finish late, we saw it best we vote from the headquarters to avoid wastage of time," said Ms Chege.
According to the Standing Orders 5 through to 13, no other business will be transacted by the Assembly other than the election of the Speaker which shall be presided over by the chairperson of committees, who in this case is Mr Kamangu.
A person shall not be elected as Speaker unless supported by the votes of two-thirds of MCAs. Nairobi has 122 MCAs meaning that the Speaker will have to be voted in by at least 82 members.
If no candidate attains the threshold, then two of the highest placed candidates in terms of votes will stand alone in the second round and the candidate who receives the highest number of votes in the second ballot shall be elected Speaker.
In case of a tie, another ballot shall be taken until one candidate obtains more votes than the other.
If there is only one candidate who has been duly nominated for election as Speaker at the expiry of the nomination period, that candidate shall be declared the winner without any further ballot or vote being required.
Immediately after the election of the Speaker, the Clerk shall administer the Oath or Affirmation of Office in the presence of the County Assembly.