Jubilee MPs on Wednesday unanimously resolved to support the report by the joint select committee on Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) reform agenda without proposing amendments.
Speaking during a Parliamentary Group meeting chaired by Deputy President William Ruto at his Karen office, the MPs discussed IEBC reforms and the imminent launch of the Jubilee Party.
“We discussed various issues of national interest ranging from forthcoming Parliamentary Business, matters relating to the IEBC Reforms and an update on the launch and unveiling of the new Jubilee Party,” said Aden Duale, the National Assembly Majority Leader.
Duale who read the resolutions said the MPs resolved to support the recommendations including to stop post-nomination party hopping that had earlier been deleted from the report.
“What is now clear is that the next nomination process will be free, fair and credible. We have now resolved to support the recommendations of the joint select committee that also proposes stop on party hopping after nominations,” said Duale who was accompanied by hundreds of MPs.
In the course of the deliberations, Duale said the MPs supported the need to professionalize and institutionalize Political Parties to foster a vibrant democratic environment that supports ideology based politics.
“The MPs agreed to support the proposals relating to “Party Nominations” and “Party Primaries” which are aimed at institutionalizing our political parties and enhance the realization of Political Rights as enshrined under Article 38 of the Constitution,” said Duale.
“As MPs we have unanimously agreed to stop party-hopping as the only way to strengthen the new Jubilee Party after nominations,” added Duale.
MPs had last week amended a report of the select committee on electoral reform, throwing out a provision that curbs party hopping.
However, the Jubilee MPs said they would now pass the report by the joint select committee without proposing changes including re-introducing the clause on party hopping that had been deleted.
Earlier, the Deputy President took the MPs through the recommendations and the importance of supporting them without proposing amendments.
“We are not opposed to party hopping but what we want is a situation where we can decide to be members of certain political parties based on their ideologies before the parties’ nominations are held,” said Ruto.
Ruto said MPs should join parties they feel comfortable with because that was their democratic right.
Runyenjes MP Cecily Mbarire said after the meeting, MPs were now convinced that firm measures have been put in place to ensure free and fair nominations will be carried out.
“This is now clear to us. I had fully supported the amendment on the report by the joint select committee on party hopping but the Deputy President has made it clear on this matter today. We will support the report the way it is without proposing any changes,” said Ms Mbarire.
The Deputy President assured the MPs that Jubilee was committed to professionalizing the management of political parties so as not to lose it’s meaning by involving IEBC in political parties nominations.
He said the move to ensure party primaries is done three months to elections will pave way for a tribunal formed to oversee complaints related to the nominations and come up with lasting solutions to such problems.
“Unlike in the past, where nominations were done few days to elections resulting to chaotic nominations, this time round we will have nominations done three months before the next election,” said Ruto.
Mt Elgon MP John Serut, an Independent Candidate, said Kenyans would have faith in the party if it carried out free, fair and credible nominations.
The Deputy President said the Constitution was clear on the role of IEBC in the nomination process.
The MPs said they would support recommendations to have IEBC given the responsibility to carry out party primaries for all political parties and at the same time as the only way to ensure credible nominations.
Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali said plans to have nominations for all political parties carried out by IEBC the same day was commendable saying it would go a long way in curbing party hopping.
Duale said the launch of the Jubilee Party is expected to attract 100,000 people from across the country.
“We are setting stage for a party launch with national outlook and based on ideologies and issues,” said Duale.