President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga outsmarted Deputy President William Ruto during debate on the Political Parties (Amendment) Bill, 2021 on Wednesday.
Their brigade in the House stumped their authority in numbers and floored an opposition to the Bill staged by Deputy President William Ruto-allied MPs in a chaotic session where punches and finger biting were witnessed.
The proponents of the Political Parties (Amendment) Bill, 2021 triumphed on a number of amendments after Division voting was called by UDA allied MPs on each as they sought to frustrate the process.
The Ruto alies unsuccessfully employed all tricks in their books to derail the process to block the amendments and drag the process to the midnight deadline for the special sitting after their numbers failed them.
Garissa Township MP Aden Duale’s bid to expunge a clause that requires an application for provisional registration of political parties be accompanied by statements on their ideologies was shot down by a 153-134 vote.
The Ruto camp only managed to sneak in Tigania West MP John Mutunga’s amendment seeking to allow parties to use their dominant colours after their symbol on the ballot. The change was backed by 123 votes against 118.
Kandara MP Alice Wahome’s proposal to amend Clause 6, which seeks to provide procedures for the registration of coalition political parties, which she termed unconstitutional, was defeated by a 158 - 134 vote.
Other amendments to the Bill to establish a political parties registration board and the office of the chief executive officer, as well as alter the manner of appointment of the officials were dealt a blow by the Deputy Speaker Moses Cheboi.
Cheboi said the proposed amendments by Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung'wa, Kilifi North MP Owen Baya and Dagoretti South MP John Kiarie were new and needed public participation as the constitution requires.
Belgut MP Nelson Koech’s proposal to amend the Bill to change the title from the Political Parties (Amendment) Bill to Political Parties Coalition Bill was also shot down on a technicality.