Senators allied to opposition leader Raila Odinga and Deputy President William Ruto will face off again in the Senate today to discuss the controversial Political Parties (Amendment) Bill, 2021.
Senators drawn from Ruto’s camp are planning to introduce amendments to the coalition Bill.
Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata said UDA will push for amendments to delete Clause 22 on the powers given to the Registrar of Political Parties.
“The registrar has been given unfettered powers to control the list of people who will be allowed to participate in party nominations,” Kang’ata said.
He said they will debate objectively, adopt sections that are good in a bipartisan manner but delete sections his UDA deems unconstitutional.
“UDA will propose to delete sections that negate the constitution. We hope our Azimio la Umoja colleagues will not use force like they did in the National Assembly,” he said.
Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei said the Senate will not be used as a conveyor belt, insisting that they will have to introduce amendments.
Cherargei plans to introduce an amendment to have the clause on the formation of a coalition deleted. He also seeks to amend time frame within which parties should enter a coalition.
He argues that the period should be left open for parties to enter into a deal at any point during the electioneering period.
“Things will be different because there will be no nominated senators to be intimidated during the vote,” he said.
Introduction of new amendments would delay the enactment of the Bill which will be resisted by allies of President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila.
It is anticipated that the hard stances witnessed in the National Assembly during the special sittings may play out in the Senate as well.
The Bill will this morning be introduced for the First Reading by Senate Majority Leader Samuel Poghisio.
However, there would be no debate on the proposed law.
The Bill will be subsequently committed to the Senate Committee on Justice, Legal Affairs and Human Rights chaired by Nyamira Senator Okong’o Omogeni.
The committee will then give about seven days for various stakeholders to give their views before holding public hearing sessions.
The team will thereafter retreat to prepare a report to be tabled in the House during the Second Reading.
If they approve the bill as passed by the National Assembly, it would be sent to the President for assent and subsequent implementation.
Should Senators amend the legislation, it will have to be taken back to the National Assembly for consideration.