Swearing in of MPs, Senate underway

Members of the 13th Parliament have officially commenced their sittings.

In line with the Standing Orders of the Senate and the National Assembly in the first sitting, the clerks read the notification of the President as published in the Gazette and then lay a list of the names of the persons elected as members on the table.

This is then followed by the administration of the Oath or Affirmation of Office to Members in alphabetical order.

The order of precedence in the Senate shall be senators with the longest cumulative period of service in the House, and those with the longest cumulative period of service in the Senate.

In the National Assembly, a member-elect who has served as a Speaker before shall be given priority.

This will be followed by the leader of the majority party, the leader of the minority party or Deputy Speaker, and members-elect with the longest cumulative period of service in the House.

Next will be the members-elect with the longest cumulative period of service in the National Assembly, the Senate, the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) and all other members-elect.

Members are allowed to use both Kiswahili and English.

MPs and Senators who are Christians will take the oath while holding the Bible while for Muslims, the Quaran is provided.

The swearing-in of the MPs is guided by Article 74 of the Constitution. It provides that no person shall assume or perform any functions of the office of an MP before taking and subscribing to the oath or affirmation of office.

After this, the MPs will elect their respective Speakers.

Speakers Election

The election of the Speaker shall be by secret ballot.

The Clerk shall, at the commencement of each ballot, cause the ballot box, empty and unlocked, to be displayed to the House and shall, in the presence of the House, lock the box, which shall thereafter be kept in the full view of the House until the conclusion of the ballot.

The Clerk shall issue not more than one ballot paper to each Member who comes to the Table to obtain it and each Member who wishes to vote shall proceed to a booth or designated area provided by the Clerk for that purpose and located next to and within a reasonable distance of the ballot box and shall, while there, mark the ballot paper by placing a mark in the space opposite the name of the candidate for whom the Member wishes to vote, fold the marked ballot paper before leaving the booth or area and place the folded ballot paper in the ballot box.

The Clerk shall in addition make arrangements as may be necessary to enable any Member with disability to vote.

When it appears to the Clerk that all Members who are present and who wish to vote have placed their ballot papers in the ballot box, the Clerk shall unlock the box, examine the ballot papers, and having rejected those unmarked or spoilt, report the result of the ballot; and no Member who has not already recorded his or her vote shall be entitled to do so after the Clerk has unlocked the ballot box.

A person shall not be elected as Speaker unless supported in a ballot by the votes of two-thirds of all Members.


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