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ODM, URP, TNA seek parliament intervention on party funding

09 January 2014, 21:27 Millicent Kawii

Nairobi - Political parties are seeking Parliament’s intervention in the allocation of funding.

The parties have asked the High court to direct an amendment to the Political Parties Act to allow parties which did not qualify for funding to get a share.

Parties named in the case include Orange Democratic Movement ODM, United Republican Party URP and The National Alliance TNA.

According to the lawyer representing TNA and URP, the House is better placed to make amendments.

“These are political parties which voted and acquired a certain percentage in the General Election. The outcome would have been different if we were to come as a coalition in court. Parliament is better placed to make any amendments even if it seeks to reduce the percentage, the political parties funding Act complies with the law as it is,” said the lawyer.

ODM lawyer Simon Makori said it is important to have accurate results for the allocation as per Section 24 (1) of the Political Parties Act.

Mr Makori said the Act was passed to avoid mischief in funds allocation and 'briefcase' parties.

The fact that most parties joined coalitions prior to the election brings to the fore discrimination of the Act as it fails to recognize coalitions, they said.

They expressed fear that since the Act talks of parties and not coalitions, they might not get a share of the funding.

According to the Act, parties which did not secure at least 5 per cent of the total votes at the General Election or have more than two thirds of registered bearers from the same gender are not entitled to the funds.

In an affidavit sworn by the Registrar of Political Parties Lucy Ndung’u, the computation for allocation of the monies is based on Treasury and the election results.

IEBC and the AG lawyers however said the Registrar of political parties is implementing what Parliament enacted and therefore she cannot be faulted.

High Court judge David Majanja directed that ruling be delivered on February 3 on the disbursement of the political parties funding dispute.

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