Poll date to remain after MP's Bill flops

Kiminini Mp Chris Wamalwa during a past event. [File, Standard]

A proposal to move the election date from August to December failed to garner support in Parliament.

Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa, the mover of the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill 2018, yesterday failed to muster the requisite two-thirds (233) of MPs to propel it to the next step.

The Bill sought to move the General Election date from the second Tuesday of August every fifth year to the third Monday of December.

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi ruled out a vote because only 187 MPs were present in the House, essentially defeating the Bill on a technicality.

“The House cannot proceed to vote since the MPs present are 187, and therefore the motion is defeated,” ruled Speaker Muturi during the afternoon session.

Two thirds

Mr Wamalwa, who had earlier in the day expressed optimism that MPs would support the Bill, said the Standing Order that set the two-thirds rule should be reviewed.

“We need to revisit the two-thirds requirement because it is next to impossible. When I came to the House and I saw the numbers, I imagined the Bill would go through,” said Wamalwa.

Majority Leader Aden Duale and Minority Whip Junet Mohammed criticised the MP for failing to mobilise the requisite numbers to pass the Bill.

Wamalwa is a member of Ford Kenya, which has 12 MPs in the House.

Mr Duale said he would have voted against the Bill.

"There are a number of us who were ready to vote no. We are no longer a transitional Parliament, as was the case in the last House," he said.

The MPs lauded the way the process was conducted, saying it was devoid of the chaos that accompany debates on controversial proposals.