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Full in-tray as MPs return from recess

Hillary Mageka and Mercy Mwai @PeopleDailyKe

The reconstitution of the electoral body, the two-thirds gender rule and the divisions within the Jubilee Party are among the issues that will confront MPs when they troop back to the House tomorrow after their two-month Christmas break.

Being the year that the electoral body is supposed to carry out the electoral boundaries delimitation, MPs will have to work around the clock to fix  existing legal gaps.

The reorganisation of the Independent Boundaries Electoral Commission (IEBC) follows the long standing row over the appointment of new commissioners after resignation of four others including vice-chairperson Connie Maina and commissioners Roselyn Akombe, Margaret Mwachanya and Paul Kurgat last year.

The unceremonious exit has made it difficult for the remaining three to have a plenary.

Early campaigns

Lawmakers once back must fix a legal loophole that will make it possible to have the electoral agency fully constituted as President Uhuru Kenyatta has not pronounced himself on the matter.

The legislators are also expected to debate on a report of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chaired by Opiyo Wandayi that is expected to be tabled in the House immediately they resume.

The report follows a report by the Auditor General Edward Ouko for the year ended June 2017 that revealed losses of up to Sh9.5 billion for the supply of goods and services during last year’s General Election and repeat presidential poll.

The resumption of the House comes at a time when the 2022 succession politics has divided Uhuru’s Jubilee Party down the middle. While MPs loyal to Uhuru have opposed early campaigns and insist on development, those allied to Deputy President William Ruto have continued with the 2022 succession campaigns.

The divisions within Jubilee Party have been compounded by the March 9 Handshake between Uhuru and former premier Raila Odinga with some Ruto lieutenants accusing Raila of wrecking the party.

Last year, Uhuru was forced to meet the House leadership to forestall a possible fall out in the House that could have jeopardised his government.

Two-thirds gender rule

Also in the parliamentarians in tray is the contentious gender rule that seeks to amend the Constitution to provide that not more than two-thirds of the members in appointive and elective public entities, among them Parliament, should not be of the same gender.

Majority Leader Aden Duale while moving the bill urged his colleagues to pass it to avoid a scenario where a petition to have Parliament dissolved if filed  if it flops.

Senate Majority Leader Susan Kihika appealed to the leadership of the National Assembly to prioritise the bill to avoid a constitutional crisis.

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