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MP Wants Ruto To Dissolve Parliament & Call Fresh Elections

The legislator outlined how recent events surrounding the anti-Finance Bill protests have underscored an urgent crisis in Kenya’s political environment.

Nyaribari Masaba Member of Parliament Daniel Manduku now wants President William Ruto to dissolve the National Assembly and call for fresh elections in the next 90 days.

In a statement on Thursday, June 27, the legislator outlined how recent events surrounding the anti-Finance Bill protests have underscored an urgent crisis in Kenya’s political environment.

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“The widespread demonstrations leading to the invasion and desecration of Parliament by Gen Z protestors, provoked by the contentious Finance Bill, 2024, have revealed a significant loss of public trust in the Kenya Kwanza Government and Parliament,” he stated in part.

Manduku thus wants President Ruto to dissolve Parliament, reconstitute his Cabinet, and invite the international community to oversee fresh elections within 90 days to restore democratic integrity and public confidence now that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is not properly constituted.

Nyaribari Masaba MP Daniel Manduku Ogwoba. /BUSINESS DAILY

However, the latter is an issue in itself as right now, IEBC cannot conduct any form of polls including by-elections. In February 2024, the court ruled that the IEBC was not properly constituted.

At the time, the electoral body had no chairperson and commissioners despite the secretariat being in place, following the exit of, among them, Wafula Chebukati as chairperson. The lack of commissioners has led to legal questions on whether the commission is properly constituted to discharge its mandate.

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Dissolution of Parliament

Under Article 261(7) of the Kenyan Constitution, the President has the authority to dissolve Parliament if it fails to fulfil its constitutional mandate.

Manduku termed the recent invasion and defilement of Parliament as one that showed a failure of the institution to maintain order, respect, and public trust.

“While Article 261(7) primarily addresses legislative delays, its underlying principle supports the dissolution of a Parliament that has lost public confidence and failed in its core responsibilities.

“The Finance Bill, 2024, which sparked widespread protests, was returned to Parliament by the President, urging Parliament to amend it by way of deletion of all sections and pass it as a blank Bill for enactment. This unprecedented move underscores the necessity for drastic measures to restore legislative credibility and address public grievances,” he added.

Cabinet Reconstitution

Article 132(2) of the Constitution grants the President the authority to reconstitute the Cabinet. The MP argued that given the prevailing public discontent, reconstituting the Cabinet is essential to restore governance effectiveness and public confidence.

He called for the reconstituting of the Cabinet to involve appointing new leaders capable of addressing the current crises and rebuilding public trust in the government’s ability to govern justly and effectively.

International Oversight for Fresh Elections

According to Manduku, given the erosion of public confidence, it is crucial to invite the international community, particularly the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), to oversee fresh elections.

He opined that IGAD’s involvement will ensure transparency, fairness, and credibility in the electoral process, aligning with Kenya’s obligations under various international treaties and conventions promoting democratic governance and human rights.

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Voting process during a past Kenyan general election. /ARTICLE 19

Article 21 of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections, and Governance emphasizes the need for credible elections.

“By inviting IGAD to oversee the elections, Kenya will adhere to its commitments under the Charter, ensuring that the electoral process reflects the will of the people. This has been necessitated by the fact that we do not have a fully constituted IEBC,” he added.

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