Parliament In The New Constitution


Parliament is the law making organ of the government. The new constitution provides for two houses of parliament, these being the SENATE and the NATIONAL ASSEMBLY. Their functions are distinct and set out under the constitution which they have a duty to uphold. The powers of these houses are derived from the people of Kenya.

The main role of parliament is to make legislation. It is the only organ allowed to make laws by the constitution but can issue such powers to other authorities by legislation

The main role of the national assembly members is to debate and resolve matters of concern to the people. In voting there will be a representative to the national assembly from each of the 290 constituencies in the country, 47 women elected as representatives from each county, 12 nominated members according to the proportion of the parties represented and the Speaker, who is an ex officio member.

Individuals vying to be members of the national assembly should be adult Kenyan citizens and be of good moral standing and if they are independent candidates they need at least one thousand signatures from the electorate to verify their candidacy. They are to strictly conform to the guidelines set out in article 99 of the constitution on qualifications and disqualifications for being a member of parliament.

The national assembly members will deliberate over allocation of revenue to the government and will act as an oversight authority on revenue use. It also acts as an oversight body on executive actions and conduct.

Your representative to the national assembly is basically empowered to cater for your interests in the house. Should a member fail to meet the expectations of the electorate, there is a right of recall that can be exercised under article 104 of the constitution.

The senate is comprised of 47 members representing each county in the country, 16 women members who shall be nominated by political parties according to their proportion of members of the Senate, two members, being one man and one woman, representing the youth, two members, being one man and one woman, representing persons with disabilities and the Speaker, who shall be an ex officio member.

The role of the senate is most importantly to serve the interests of the counties and their governments. It participates in the law-making function of Parliament by considering, debating and approving Bills concerning counties and exercises oversight over national revenue allocated to the county governments.

The senate also participates in the oversight of State officers by considering and determining any resolution to remove the President or Deputy President from office.

To be elected as a senator one basically needs the same qualifications as a member of the national assembly although if one is an independent candidate they need at least two thousand signatures from the electorate to verify their candidacy.

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