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National Assembly adopts report on constitutional reforms

 National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula at Parliament on August 23, 2023. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

The National Assembly has adopted the report of the National Dialogue Committee, which proposed a raft of constitutional, legal, and policy reforms.

On Thursday, February 22, Speaker Moses Wetangula directed the members to forward any draft bills arising from the report to the Clerk of the National Assembly for consideration.

Several bills were recommended by the National Dialogue Committee to implement the proposed reforms.

One of them was the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2023, which aimed to amend the Constitution through a parliamentary initiative to address pertinent issues, promote national unity, inclusivity, representative democracy, transparency, and accountability, and establish adequate checks and balances.

Another bill was the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2023, which sought to streamline the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Act, aligning it with court judgments and enhancing qualifications for commission members.

The committee also suggested the Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2023, which primarily targeted amending the Elections Act, 2011, to incorporate public recommendations and viewpoints gathered during national dialogues.

 Furthermore, it proposed the Election Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2023, which aimed to amend the Election Offences Act, 2016, introducing provisions to penalize malpractices and delays in election result declaration.

 The committee also recommended the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2023, which sought to amend the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Act No. 22 of 2011 to specify qualifications for the Chairperson of the Commission.

 Additionally, it suggested the Political Parties (Amendment) Bill, 2023, which aimed to replace the Office of Registrar of Political Parties with the Independent Political Parties Regulatory Commission. 

The committee also proposed the National Government Coordination (Amendment) Bill, 2023, which proposed amendments to include the Office of the Prime Minister within the national government coordination framework, outlining the Prime Minister’s functions. 

 Moreover, it recommended the Leader of Opposition Bill, 2023, which sought to define the functions, appointment procedures, and tenure of the Leader of the Opposition and their deputies.

 At the same time, it suggested the Statutory Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2023, which introduced amendments to the Statutory Instruments Act, 2013, establishing timelines for the making of regulations to ensure efficient implementation of parliamentary laws.

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