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Economy

Jubilee to have upper hand in the House with more legislators

The party’s strength in the National Assembly is critical for the President. FILE PHOTO | NMG
The party’s strength in the National Assembly is critical for the President. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Jubilee Party has cemented its dominance of the National Assembly after increasing its share of MPs in the House to nearly half.

Provisional results from the electoral commission show Jubilee Party has garnered 49 per cent or 163 of the 349 seats, while the core parties under Nasa have attained 34 per cent.

Jubilee had 47 per cent of MPs in the last National Assembly whose term ended on August 7.

The ruling party made the gains after clinching seats in constituencies perceived to be Opposition strongholds. These include Nakuru Town West, Lang’ata and some in Bungoma and Kakamega.

Small political parties such as Kanu (eight seats), DP (one ) and PNU (one ) share the remaining 17 slots in the National Assembly, up from eight.

The small parties normally align themselves either to the opposition or the ruling party after polls.

The core parties under Nasa are ODM, Wiper Party, ANC and Ford Kenya.

The Wiper Party has garnered 22 seats, a seven per cent drop from 26 in the previous House.   

The ANC, formerly UDF, got 11 seats from the previous 12, while Ford Kenya has 11 MPs from 10. The ODM remains the dominant party in the opposition coalition with 74 seats, down from 91.

The party’s strength in the National Assembly is critical for the President given that he will require support of MPs to push through legislation that supports implementation of his manifesto.

The President also needs the numbers to endorse critical nominees such as Cabinet secretaries and principle secretaries, among others.

Jubilee had 167 MPs in the 11th Parliament or 47 per cent of the legislators. The Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord, now Nasa) had 40 per cent or 141 MPs.
This worked to the advantage of President Uhuru Kenyatta who had an easy time seeking National Assembly’s nod on government-backed Bills and approvals for top State appointees.

The Constitution requires that the Parliament, comprising the new MPs and senators, meets within a month after the General Election.

The National Assembly Clerk, Michael Sialai said the first sitting is tentatively earmarked for August 27.

Mr Sialai said despite the outcome of the polls, the 12th Parliament must convene latest September 6 when each of the 349 MPs and 67 senators will be sworn in.

“Whenever a new House is elected, the President, by notice in the Gazette, shall appoint the place and date for the first sitting of the new House, which shall be not more than thirty days after the election,” Article 126(2) of the Constitution states.

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