Counties

Counties seek Supreme Court word on Constitution changes

SUPREME

The Supreme Court of Kenya. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The Kericho and Nandi county speakers have asked the court to clarify several issues saying the Constitution or the Elections Act do not provide clarity on critical aspects to guide a referendum.
  • The two counties said they sought the guidance after facing hurdles during the consideration of the Punguza Mzigo constitutional amendment Bill of 2019 by Thirdway Alliance.

The county assemblies of Kericho and Nandi have sought the guidance of the Supreme Court on the procedure to be followed while processing a constitutional amendment Bill, under a popular initiative, ahead of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) referendum.

The county speakers have asked the court to clarify several issues saying the Constitution or the Elections Act do not provide clarity on critical aspects to guide a referendum.

They said it is not clear how a Bill with multiple and unrelated issues will be voted for at the referendum and whether it should be voted in an omnibus way or based on multiple questions delineated in respect of each provision or subject matter sought to be amended.

“The applicants believe that the processes relating to the processing of a popular initiative Bill in county assembly and Parliament and especially those relating to facilitating and consideration of the outcome of public participation, requires guidance from this court,” the application reads.

The two counties said they sought the guidance after facing hurdles during the consideration of the Punguza Mzigo constitutional amendment Bill of 2019 by Thirdway Alliance.

“Does the Bill require a simple majority of MCAs or by a vote of not less than half of all members or through a vote supported by not less than two-thirds of all Members of the county assembly?” reads one of the queries.








asked reads.

The two counties said while Article 256 of the Constitution, which guides constitutional amendment through a parliamentary initiative is detailed on procedure and process of processing a constitutional amendment, Article 257, which relates to popular initiative seems silent on the process and the procedure Parliament has to use in consideration and passage of a Bill to amend the Constitution through the popular initiative.