Uhuru Signs Political Parties Bill Into Law

President Uhuru Kenyatta [Photo/Courtesy]

President Uhuru Kenyatta has signed the Political Parties (Amendment) Bill, 2021, into law.

This is following approval of the party laws by the Senate on Wednesday, with just months to the August General Election.

The Head of State assented to the controversial Bill in a brief ceremony held at State House in Nairobi on Thursday.

The event was attended by Attorney General Paul Kihara, Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka, his National Assembly counterpart Justin Muturi as well as House Majority Leaders Samuel Poghisio (Senate) and Amos Kimunya (National Assembly).

The new law allows candidates to run on either coalition party tickets or individual parties.

It outlines the functions of political parties as well as the criteria of accessing the Political Parties Fund.

Read: Speaker Muturi Calls Off Special Sittings After MPs Passed Parties Bill

The law also empowers the Registrar of Political Parties to certify political party membership lists and nomination rules among other provisions.

In the new law, parties will have four months to form coalitions before a general election.

The Bill sailed through both Houses of Parliament despite a spirited fight by lawmakers allied to Deputy President William Ruto.

Earlier today, Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei said 28 colleagues who voted to pass the Bill yesterday were bribed with Ksh100,000.

Read Also: Kipsengeret Koros Injured As MPs Engage in Fist Fight Over Parties Bill

Speaking during an interview on Citizen TV’s Day Break Show, the vocal senator claimed his colleagues were intimidated by the Executive.

He argued that the Bill was compromised and plans are underway to challenge it in court.

“I can assure you if this matter goes to court this law will be disallowed and I said it on the floor of the Senate yesterday that parliament will be embarrassed by the court of law because the process has been shunned with violence, intimidation, blackmail, bribery,” said the firebrand legislator.

Read Also: Cherargei Claims Senators Bribed With Ksh100,000 to Pass Controversial Parties Bill

Ruto is on record saying the Bill undermines the independence of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and political parties, arguing it creates an imperial Registrar of Political Parties.

The DP’s allies had attempted to shoot down some of the proposed amendments in the Coalition Bill in the National Assembly without success.

In the dramatic sessions held in December last year, MPs loyal to President Uhuru Kenyatta and his handshake partner Raila Odinga rejected amendments proposed by their colleagues from the Ruto camp, giving the duo major victory in the House.

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Written by Wycliffe Nyamasege


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