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MPs in last minute rush to avert dissolution of Parliament

20 August 2015, 09:33 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – MPs are planning to extend the constitutional timeline in implementation of certain legislations to at least 12 months to avert the risk of dissolving the Parliament.

The legislators have been forced to extend the August 28, 2014 deadline for additional time to enact the remaining 28 pieces of legislations they blamed the Executive of delaying to draft, publish and forward to Parliament for appropriate enactment.

The National Assembly Constitutional Implementation and Oversight committee chairman, Njoroge Baiya (Githunguri) who asked the House through a special motion to accept the extension period by 12 months, said most Bills had been tabled and were in First Reading Stage therefore required more time to be enacted.

“Some Bills require more time because of the constitutional provision of intervention between National Assembly and the Senate in their legislations. If time is not extended, consequences fall squarely on both Houses,” said Baiya.

“The High Court can ultimately order the dissolution of Parliament for not enacting the required legislations as per time provided in the Constitution,” he warned.

Read Also: Residents hold MP hostage, threaten to lynch him

The National Assembly Deputy Majority Leader, Naomi Shaban supported the proposal to extend the time citing that last year they were forced to hurriedly pass legislations until late evenings without considering the impending consequences.

“Extending the time by 12 months is not a bad decision for us to have ample time for enactment of legislations. We don’t want to get in the situation where anyone can petition in the High Court seeking dissolution of Parliament,” warned Shaban.

She pointed out that the move was not in contravention of the Constitution considering the 5-year lifespan of Parliament in discharging its legislative mandates.

National Assembly Majority Leader, Adan Duale said the House Business Committee will convene a special consultative meeting on Thursday to agree on whether there should be “extension of time by six, nine or 12 months.”

National Assembly Deputy Minority Leader, Jakoyo Midiwo particularly faulted the drafters of the New Constitution for proposing that Parliament be held responsible for not meeting the deadline in enacting certain legislations yet the Executive might be the cause of such delayed enactments.

“The Executive has severally refused to give laws for Parliament to act on them. We plead with ministries not to make Parliament look bad yet they are the cause of problem,” said Midiwo.

The hotly debated two-third gender rule legislation is among the 28 laws to have been enacted before the August 28 deadline elapses.  

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