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    HomeNewsHandshake Team Piles Pressure On MPs To Pass Referendum, IEBC Laws

    Handshake Team Piles Pressure On MPs To Pass Referendum, IEBC Laws

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    Handshake team is racing against time to implement crucial laws that will shape the Referendum and 2022 General election.

    Last Thursday, the legislators approved a bill appointing a panel to recruit IEBC commissioners.

    The law provides for the appointment of the commissioners by four Parliamentary Service Commission representatives, a nominee of the Law Society of Kenya and two Inter-religious Council of Kenya representatives.

    Presently, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has three commissioners. This has a quorum challenge as it has no powers to make major decisions.

    The MPs have to craft a referendum law, crucial for the implementation of the Building Bridges Initiative report set to be released in a matter of days.

    The Justice and Legal Affairs Committee is equally seized of the Judicial Service (Amendment) Bill, 2020 which seeks to streamline transition at the Supreme Court.

    The Judicial Service Commission is entangled in a row over the timing of recruitment of a chief justice to take over from David Maraga.

    The Judicial Service (Amendment) Bill, 2020 provides for the recruitment of a chief justice to begin six months before the incumbent leaves office.

    JLAC and Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee chairpersons are expected to sit tomorrow to harmonise the two referendum bills before the House.

    JLAC vice-chairperson Otiende Amolo said the committee has looked at both its bill and CIOC’s and established points of convergence.

    He said they have combed the CIOC bill and incorporated the issues in the JLAC proposal.

    “The respective chairpersons are yet to consult. We will easily recommend our own since it is not just detailed but has been improved by the elements from the CIOC one,” the Rarieda MP said.

    CIOC chairman Jeremiah Kioni said the Wednesday meeting between him and the JLAC chair will agree on what to give away and what to keep.

    Kioni said the perception that there are radical differences in the two pieces of legislations are misconceived.

    The bills had a departure on the day of conducting a referendum and the number of days to conduct public participation on the referendum question.

    According to Kioni, the bills could end up being similar for the reason the stakeholders engaged by the committees were the same.

    “We have had a discussion and we will have another one because whether we like it or not we will have one bill.”

    The Ndaragwa representative said that by the end of recess they will have given a report or clear direction on the legislation.

    “We want to do this without any committee feeling they are superior to the other or one has supervisory role.”

    Leader of Majority Amos Kimunya hoped members will dispense of the bill before the end of the current session.

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    “We hope to clear the bills by the end of this session. The one of the CJ transition is not just for the current but for the future.

    “By the time we resume from recess, we will clear that so that the process is started before the CJ’s retirement date. We wouldn’t want to waste more time,” the Kipipiri MP said.

    “We want to accelerate the private members’ bills, Senate bills in the National Assembly and clear all the legislations in the pipeline.”

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    Parliament also intends to dispense  bills to facilitate the Affordable Housing agenda of the Big Four plan.

    The House is also gearing up for the Building Bridges Initiative, a key business item after the recess.

    Kimunya said the House is keen to support President Uhuru Kenyatta in delivering his agenda, citing the meeting he had with them last Saturday.

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