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Auditor General Edward Ouko team faults law on merger of political parties and wants it reviewed

By Moses Nyamori | Oct 18th 2016 | 2 min read
Auditor General Edward Ouko stresses a point to the National Assembly Committee on Budget and Appropriations when he presented a report on Working Group on Social Economic Audit of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 at Parliament main chambers. ?A report has criticised the recently enacted law allowing merger of political parties, saying it is against the country's Constitution. (PHOTO: MOSES OMUSULA/ STANDARD)

A report has criticised the recently enacted law allowing merger of political parties, saying it is against the country's Constitution.

The report prepared before President Uhuru Kenyatta assented to the Bill but made public last Thursday wants the National Assembly to reconsider the law as it will weaken political parties.

The report prepared by a team chaired by Auditor General Edward Ouko says that party-hopping is against the wishes of the electorate.

"Parliament should reconsider the amendments proposed in early 2016 to allow dissolution and mergers of political parties and coalitions. Laws that allow Members of Parliament to join new parties/coalitions mid-stream go against constitutional provisions," says the report presented to the Budget and Appropriations Committee of the National Assembly.

The report notes the amendment was done as part of a political strategy by parties ahead of the 2017 General Election, in total disregard to the spirit of the Constitution.

The Political Parties (Amendment) Act, 2016, was pushed by the ruling Jubilee coalition so as to allow for the merger of 12 Jubilee affiliate parties to form Jubilee Party on whose ticket President Kenyatta and deputy William Ruto will use to seek re-election.

The merger process was roundly criticised by Opposition leaders led by Raila Odinga for undermining the democratic space as well as returning the country to one-party days.

The report has further blamed political outfits for failing to live to the spirit of the 2010 Constitution that envisioned them as progressive and institutions to advance the country's democratic space.

The report paints a grim picture of outfits that have turned into ethnic enclaves, drawing its leaders from one ethnic group.

The team has also proposed revision of Political Parties Act to provide for the actual number of women elected in Parliament and county assemblies.

The report further proposes fast tracking of the appointment of the Registrar of Political Parties.

Lucy Ndung'u has been running the office in an acting capacity since its creation.

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