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Economy

Jubilee falls short of seats for control of House agenda

Parliament Buildings: Jubilee Coalition narrowly missed absolute control of both the National Assembly and the Senate. Photo/File
Parliament Buildings: Jubilee Coalition narrowly missed absolute control of both the National Assembly and the Senate. Photo/File 

The Jubilee Coalition narrowly missed absolute control of both the National Assembly and the Senate meaning it will need to reach out to smaller parties and independents to push its legislative agenda.

The Eleventh Parliament has been expanded to 350 members including 290 elected ones, 47 elected women, 12 nominated members and the Speaker.

Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Coalition secured 135 MPs against 117 elected under the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord) alliance led by Raila Odinga. It also managed to get 23 women representatives seats against 21 for Cord.

Even with at least five of the nominated seats going to Jubilee, it will have 163 seats while 175 seats would be required for a majority.

The Amani Coalition whose leader is Musalia Mudavadi got 18 seats in the National Assembly, the Eagle Alliance led by Peter Kenneth got two seats. Other small political parties and independent candidates got 18.

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The Tenth Parliament had 210 elected members, 12 nominated and two ex-officio members (Speaker and Attorney General).

The 68 member Senate, which came into place after last week’s polls, comprises 47 elected members, 16 women, two youth and two persons with disabilities who will be nominated by political parties and the Speaker.

In the Senate, which is charged with the role of representing the counties, Mr Kenyatta’s coalition got 21 seats, Cord 20, Amani four and other parties two.

Amani Coalition would nominate one member while other parties would have one slot. The nomination slots are based on the proportion of party strength in the 337 elected-member House.

In the Senate, which has 20 nominations, Jubilee and Cord would each get at least eight slots while Amani and other parties would share the remaining two.

Each of the parties in the coalitions submitted its list of nominees to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, alternating their gender.

The Senate is a key House as it determines the allocation of national revenue among counties and exercises oversight over national revenue allocated to the counties.

In addition, the Senate participates in the oversight of State officers by considering and determining resolutions to remove the President or deputy from office.

The new House is critical to the take-off of 47 county governments and is charged with assessing, debating and approving Bills on counties. The Senate handles and approves annual budgets for county governments.

The new House would embark on scrutinising and approving the Budget for the 2013/14 financial year, which must be laid before the National Assembly in April, two months to the end of financial year in June.

Article 218 of the Constitution requires that the introduction of a Division of Revenue Bill apportioning the revenue raised by the national government be introduced two months to end of the financial year.

This Bill was shelved by the outgoing Finance minister Njeru Githae so that the incoming Senate could participate in its enactment. Once the Division of Revenue Bill is passed by the new Parliament, each county government would be required to enact its own Annual and Appropriation Bill.

The new President who, under the new order, will together with his deputy not be members of Parliament, has an opportunity once every year to address both Houses in a joint sitting.

The President is expected to outline his government agenda for the year when the House is inaugurated officially.

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