Justin Muturi elected National Assembly Speaker for a second term

National Assembly Justin Muturi. Photo: Mose Omusula, Standard 

Justin Muturi easily retained the National Assembly’s speaker position after he got 220 votes out of 221 cast in Thursday’s election.

Mr Muturi, who was largely expected to win the seat after receiving the support of Jubilee Party, which has a super majority in the House, however had to wait for a second round of voting after the first round failed to give him the two-thirds majority required for an outright win.

In the first round, he polled 217 votes, which was below the 233 required for an outright win in the election of the Speaker of the National Assembly, which has a total of 349 elected and nominated members.

His only competitor for the seat, Noah Migudo Winja, received a paltry one vote in the second round, down from four received in the first balloting.

“I am deeply honoured by the confidence you have bestowed upon me to serve in the 12th Parliament. This election is much more than an honour to me. I will conduct myself with the highest degree of impartiality,” said Muturi in his acceptance speech.

Paperless system

The speaker also promised to introduce a paperless system in the House, a departure from the past when volumes of paper have been used in parliamentary work.

It was an easy win for Muturi who faced little opposition, especially as members of the National Super Alliance (NASA) failed to officially present a candidate for the position, and after President Uhuru Kenyatta whipped his Jubilee members to throw their weight behind his candidature.

Standing Order 7(1) of the House requires that in the first round of the vote by MPs, a candidate will only be declared the winner after garnering at least two-thirds – in this case 233 of the 348 members who constitute the House.

Most MPs drawn from the Opposition skipped the election of the speaker and deputy speaker by walking out of the chambers immediately they were sworn in.

Mvita MP Abdulswamad Shariff however remained in the chambers but it was not clear whether he participated in the exercise.

The Opposition had threatened to snub the sitting but after holding a Parliamentary Group meeting on Wednesday, they decided to turn up for the swearing-in ceremony as required by law.

Kuresoi North MP Moses Cheboi was elected deputy speaker as he was unopposed.