Politics and policy
Presidential poll losers get ticket to Parliament
Posted Wednesday, June 20 2012 at 19:44
Presidential election losers have been handed a soft landing after Attorney- General Githu Muigai changed the Elections Act to have them nominated to Parliament.
Prof Muigai, through the Revision of Laws Act, changed Section 34(9), which barred losers from being nominated.
The section read: “the party list may not contain a name of any presidential or deputy presidential candidate nominated for election under this Act.”
He made the changes through legal notice No. 142 that was published in November last year.
Garsen MP Danson Mungatana on Wednesday withdrew his proposal to push for the nominations after realising the restriction had been removed.
“I have withdrawn my amendment after the AG corrected the error. As we speak, it is law that both presidential candidates and their running mates will be nominated to Parliament.”
Mr Mungatana said the nominations would help have the Leader of Minority Party in Parliament— formerly leader of Official Opposition — who would be the presidential candidate of the party with the second highest number of MPs in the House.
“The role of the Opposition in a vibrant democracy cannot be under-estimated. It is the position that provides an alternative thinking, the Opposition opens the space for alternative expression at the highest levels of government,” he said.
Mr Mungatana, however, opposed amendments to allow presidential aspirants to run for other elective seats.
“I therefore urge that we support the principle that the leaders of political parties that have participated in presidential elections and have made very strong showing should find space in Parliament through nomination by their respective parties,” he said
The developments came as MPs prepared to discuss more changes to the Elections Act to also open doors for presidential aspirants to contest other elective seats in the same election.
This would subject the country to expensive by-elections as the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) estimates that it costs about Sh40 million to organise a parliamentary by-election.
MPs also seek to amend the Act to lower the threshold for one to be elected as MP.
They want a candidate to qualify for elections if they hold a post secondary school education certificate instead of a university degree. People without the qualification would be eligible if they had previously been elected to Parliament.