Political parties can’t punish members at will
6 Dec 2017 00:30
The National Assembly has reviewed its rules, making it difficult for party leaders to punish rebellious members by removing them from House committees. House Speaker Justin Muturi on Tuesday told the House the Standing Orders had been revised to remove the open discretion exercised by party leaders in de-whipping legislators seen as going against party positions. Muturi told MPs yesterday that the party leaders would no longer have the blank cheque in removing members from committees, saying unlike before, the affected legislators now would have a room to defend themselves before they are replaced in any committee. “Standing Order 176(1) has since been included requiring that a member must be taken through the due process of law; explained as to why the decision is being taken to remove them from a committee and they have to be heard and defend themselves,” explained Muturi. Removing of “dissent” from committees was used by parties as a way of punishing MPs who are seen as rebels, a move that the Procedure and House Rules Committee found to be an abuse of the rules. In the last Parliament, CORD coalition used the opportunity to punish legislators who were seen as working with Jubilee. MPs were informed of the new rules as the Assembly set in motion the process of setting up crucial working committees after it approved the formation of the organ tasked with placing MPs in different groups. The House approved the appointment of a 21-member Committee on Selection and tasked it to burn the midnight oil to ensure that members are placed in different committees before MPs take the long Christmas recess.
Category: politics news