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Clerk calls for dialogue between CORD, Jubilee as House reopens

By Alphonce Shiundu | February 9th 2015

The politics of the National Assembly will feature as the House reopens Tuesday.

Already, Boniface Otsiula (Bumula, New Ford Kenya) has prepared a bill to repeal the International Crimes Act and pull Kenya out of the Rome Statute that created the International Criminal Court.

There's also another bill to change the Constitution and shift the election date from August to December, sponsored by Ugenya MP David Ochieng'.

In the Clerk's report on the Third Session, he implores the parliamentary staff to be dynamic in the face of the political pressures that come with the work.

"Parliamentary staff will have to be fast-learners, quick to act, and always non-partisan in the ever-changing political climate to facilitate the smooth running of the Assembly and Parliament at large," Justin Bundi, the Clerk, noted in a 29-page document seen by The Standard.

Together with the technocrats in the House, the Clerk has called on the ruling Jubilee coalition, with a significant majority in the House, and the minority Coalition for Reforms and Democracy, to embrace dialogue.

"There will possibly be a need for consensus building to resolve matters between the two main coalitions to ensure more harmonious engagement as the year unfolds. This synergy will need to be built with members of the Senate as well, to improve working relations between the two Houses of Parliament," Bundi said in the report.

He also expects MPs, having spent the first two years learning the ropes, will have "fully grasped parliamentary procedures and practices" and as a result will be tabling more bills, motions and questions.

In the last session, 77 bills were introduced, and only 19 are now law. Four are awaiting assent, while seven are in the legislative pipeline either in the National Assembly or the Senate.

For senators, their brief will be to follow-up on the constitutionality of laws that the National Assembly approved. The coalitions are expected to hold their parliamentary group meetings next week.

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