It is now official that the standoff between ruling Jubilee party and the opposition over the names of nominees to the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) will only be sorted out in the next Parliament.
This means that operations of the regional assembly are likely to remain paralysed after Kenya’s Parliament adjourned sine die on Thursday without electing law-makers to the regional legislative body.
The opposition has remained adamant that it will not add any additional names to the earlier four it had submitted.
Jubilee has also maintained that the opposition must add seven additional names to the four in order for the House to elect four to Eala.
The grandstanding is likely to persist even in the 12th Parliament.
“Nothing will happen in this Parliament over the nominees, wait for the 12th Parliament,” Kitutu Masaba MP, Timothy Bosire told the Nation.
“Jubilee cannot dictate to us who to nominate to Eala, we will not dance to the tune of the music they are playing,” said Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati.
National Assembly Minority Whip Thomas Mwadeghu also maintained that there is no law compelling them to add additional names to the earlier list.
“Cite to me any law demanding that we have to give seven additional names. We will not add anyone to our list,” Mwadeghu said.
“We are within the law to present the four names and we will not add any name.”
The move comes after the joint parliamentary select committee on the nomination of Eala recommended that Rule 6 of the Assembly be deleted to make sure each party nominates for election three times the original figure.
In the report, the committee co-chaired by Katoo ole Metito and Kipchumba Murkomen said the amendment would help to remove conflicts of interpretation in the number of nominees from each party.
Following the move, the committee recommended that National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi and his Senate counterpart Ekwee Ethuro extend timelines for processes required to facilitate the holding of the elections.
Cord has nominated Judith Pareno, Ronald Ngeny, Abubakar Zein and Kennedy Musyoka.
Eala Speaker Kenneth Madete had earlier written to all member states stating that that the sittings of the assembly has been suspended until Kenya elect its nominees.
“As you may be aware, the Parliament of Kenya is still in the process of electing its members,” reads part letter.
“Due to the foregoing we are unable to proceed with the activities related to the inauguration of the 4th Assembly, this is therefore to notify you that the first sitting of the assembly is hereby suspended until further notice.”