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Sunday, December 5, 2021

Any plan to extend term of Parliament is as dead as a dodo, says Duale

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Garissa Township MP Aden Duale has dismissed reports of a plan to extend the term of Parliament saying there were no befitting and sufficient grounds to warrant a move by MPs to extend the term of the current August House

Duale explained that Article 102 of the Constitution said Kenya must be at war for the term of Parliament to be extended.

“We are not at war. We are a peace-loving country and we thank Allah for the peace. For those arguing that we can extend Parliament, those plans are as dead as a dodo,” he said in a statement.

Article 102 of the Constitution stipulates that, “The term of each House of Parliament expires on the date of the next General Election”.

“When Kenya is at war, Parliament may, by resolution supported in each House by at least two-thirds of all the members of the House, from time to time extend the term of Parliament by not more than six months at a time,” adds the article.

Duale said drafters of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 played out all scenarios and “specifically provided for nearly all plausible circumstances so we do not have to speculate.”

He noted that the Constitution provides that a General Election of Members of Parliament shall be held on the second Tuesday in August of every fifth year. “This is the same date for election of the President, Governors and Members of County Assemblies,” he stated.

He added that Article 102 (1) further provides that the term of each House of Parliament expires on the date of the next General Election.

“It is notable that Article 102(2) provides that when Kenya is at war, Parliament may by resolution supported by at least two-thirds of all the Members of the House extend the term of Parliament by not more than six months at a time,” he said.

“For those who would want to give war a strange definition other than its ordinary meaning please note the Constitution is always speaking,” he said.

He added that Covid-19 is a pandemic all over the world and to argue that ” it is a war ” is not only strange but it would imply that the whole world is at war. “Let us not split hairs to obvious things,” he said.

 “Please also note the Constitution did not provide for extension of the term of any other state office and is only through an extension of Parliament in cases of war where there would be a consequent extension of the term of any other state office whose election date is tied to that of Parliament,” added Duale.

In August last year, the media was awash with reports that some MPs were in talks to extend their term as 2020 was a “wasted year” with the Covid-19 pandemic slowing down almost all aspects of life.

Reports said the MPs were plotting to introduce a transition clause in the Building Bridges Initiative report.

The moved was dismissed by Lugari’s Ayub Savula and his Lurambi counterpart Titus Khamala who warned that those plotting to extend the parliamentary term were out to create trouble in the country.

Savula said the President Moi did not seek more time when his time ended and neither did his successor Mwai Kibaki.

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