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Two NASA MPs attend address, as Opposition makes good threat to boycott Parliament opening

By Daniel Psirmoi | Published Wed, September 13th 2017 at 00:00, Updated September 13th 2017 at 00:40 GMT +3
Members of Parliament on Tuesday 12/09/17 [Boniface Okendo,Standard]

Opposition legislators made good their threat to boycott the official opening of Parliament that was graced by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday.

Out of the 136 MPs from parties allied to the National Super Alliance (NASA), only two lawmakers - Alfred Sambu (Webuye East) and Charles Gimose (Hamisi) of Amani National Congress and Ford Kenya respectively attended the function.

This was despite the fact that a number of the Opposition MPs, including Chris Wamalwa (Kiminini), Ferdinand Wanyonyi (Kwanza), and Godfrey Osotsi, being seen in the precincts of the National Assembly earlier in the day.

Jubilee Party and its affiliates have 213 of the 349 MPs in the National Assembly and 39 of the 67 in the Senate.

On Monday, NASA co-principal Moses Wetang'ula announced that Opposition MPs would not attend the opening of the 12th Parliament, arguing that President Kenyatta does not have the power to convene the opening of the new House.

Chief Justice

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The Bungoma Senator explained that the decision by the Chief Justice David Maraga-led Supreme Court, which nullified the re-election of President Kenyatta, had undermined his legitimacy or authority.

"The duty to open the new Parliament awaits the president who will assume office after being sworn in upon taking and subscribing to the oath of allegiance and the oath for the execution of the functions of office, as provided by the Constitution," Wetang'ula told journalists at Okoa Kenya offices.

Mr Sambu defended his decision to attend the first session graced by President Kenyatta, saying he did not attend any meeting to decide whether to attend the function or not.

"Someone just made an announcement that we should skip the function without consulting us. I attended the event because it was a national function and there is no harm in listening to the speech of the President," he said.

Coincidentally, no representative from the Judiciary attended the function, a fact that did not escape the attention of some MPs, who wondered why the judges decided to keep away, although reports indicated that they had been invited.

"NASA and the judges seem to be speaking the same language. It is not a coincidence that the Opposition skipped the national event and they did the same," said Sirisia MP John Waluke.

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