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CONVENING OF A NEWLY ELECTED PARLIAMENT AND SWEARING-IN OF MEMBERS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

 WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

 

1)    Why the title “12th Parliament”?

The term of a Parliament commences after each general election. The Legislature commencing this Month and which follows the 8th August, 2017 general election will be the twelfth national legislature in independent Kenya.

 

2)    When is the first sitting of the 12th Parliament?

Pursuant to the provisions of Article 126(2) of the Constitution, the date for the first sitting of the new House is appointed by the President and should not be more than thirty days after the election, that is, not later than 7th September, 2017.

 

3)    How will the first sitting of the 12th Parliament be convened?

The place and date for the first sitting of a new House is appointed by the President, by way of a notice in the Gazette in accordance with Article 126(2) of the Constitution.

 

4)    Can a Member perform functions of the office of a Member before taking and subscribing to the Oath or Affirmation of Office?

Article 74 of the Constitution provides that before assuming a State Office, acting in a State Office, or performing any functions of a State office, a person shall take and subscribe the Oath or Affirmation of Office, in the manner and form prescribed by the Third Schedule or under an Act of Parliament.

 

5)    What business is transacted during the first sitting of the House?

On the first sitting of a new House, only the following business is transacted by the House-

(a)     Swearing-in: the Clerk administers the Oath or Affirmation of Office to all Members present in the House in alphabetical order, following the sequence prescribed under Standing Order 3(2) of the National Assembly Standing Orders, which is-

(i)       Members with the longest cumulative period of service in the National Assembly;

(ii)     Members with the longest cumulative period of service in the National Assembly, the East African Legislative Assembly and the Senate;

(iii)    Members with the longest cumulative period of service in the Senate; and

(iv)   All other Members.

 

(b)    Election of Speaker and Deputy Speaker: The election of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker follows the administration of Oath or Affirmation of Office to Members present.  

 

6)    When does the Office of the Speaker fall Vacant?

Article 106(2) of the Constitution provides that the office of the Speaker or Deputy Speaker shall become vacant –

(a) when a new House of Parliament first meets after an election;

(b)  if the office holder, as a Member of the relevant House vacates office under Article 103;

(c)  if the relevant House so resolves by resolution supported by the votes of at least two-thirds of its Members; or

(d)  if the office holder resigns from office in a letter addressed to the relevant House.

 

7)    Who qualifies to be elected as Speaker or Deputy Speaker?

Article 106(1) of the Constitution provides that a Speaker is elected from persons who are qualified to be elected as Members of Parliament but are not such Members and further that the a Deputy Speaker is elected from among the Members of the House.  

 

8)    How is the nomination of candidates for election to the Office of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker undertaken?

(a)  Upon the President notifying the place and date for the first sitting of a new Assembly pursuant to Article 126(2) of the Constitution, the Clerk by notice in the Gazette notifies that fact to the public and invites interested persons collect nomination papers for election to the offices of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker.

 

(b)  Standing Order 5 of the National Assembly Standing Orders also provides, among others, that the nomination papers -

(i)       are to be returned at least 48 hours before the time appointed for the House to meet to elect the Speaker; and,

 

(ii)     of a candidate ought to be accompanied by names and signatures of 20 Members of the National Assembly who support the candidate and a declaration by them that the candidate is qualified to be elected as an MP under Article 99 of the Constitution and is willing to serve as the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker.

 

9)    How is the election of the Speaker and Deputy Speakers conducted?

Standing Orders 6, 7, 11 and 12 of the National Assembly Standing Orders provide, amongst others, that-

(a)  the election of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker is conducted through secret ballot;

 

(b)  A person shall not be elected as Speaker or Deputy Speaker, unless supported in the ballot by the votes of two-thirds of all Members. If no candidate is supported by the votes of two-thirds of all Members in the first round, the candidates who received the highest and the next highest number of votes stand for election in the next round. The candidate who receives the highest number of votes in that final round becomes the elected Speaker or the Deputy Speaker, as the case may be.

 

(c)  If there is only one candidate who has been duly nominated for election of the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker at the expiry of the nomination period, the candidate shall be declared forthwith to have been elected Speaker or Deputy Speaker without any ballot or vote being taken.

 

(d)  Immediately following the election of the Speaker, the Clerk administers the Oath or Affirmation of Office to the Speaker. Thereafter, the Speaker conducts the election of the Deputy Speaker and subsequently administers the Oath or Affirmation of Office to the Deputy Speaker-elect.

 

10) Who determines Questions that may arise in the House during the first sitting?

Standing Order 3(4) of the National Assembly Standing Orders provides that when the Clerk is administering the Oath or Affirmation of Office to Members and before the Clerk has administered the Oath or Affirmation to the Office of the Speaker, any question arising in the House is determined by the Clerk of the National Assembly who, during that period, exercises the powers of the Speaker until the Speaker is elected and takes Oath or Affirmation of Office.

 

11) How do new Members familiarize with the Standing Orders, Procedures in the House and Parliament buildings?

Arrangements are underway to facilitate the following activities-

(a)  Pre-swearing-in and familiarization - This will take place before the first sitting of the National Assembly; and,

 

(b)  Induction programme - This will take place after Members been sworn-in. The programme is scheduled to run for five days and will cover various subjects amongst them; rules of procedure in the House; processing of legislative businesses; the committee system; services available to Members; conduct and privileges of Members, among other subjects.

 

12) When does the official Opening of Parliament take place?

Following the first sitting of the House, the two Speakers ordinarily consults with the Presidency and other parliamentary leaderships on the date of the Official Opening of Parliament, which pursuant to the provisions of Article 132(1)(a) of the Constitution, is addressed by the President.

 

13) How can I obtain a copy of the Standing Orders of the House?

A hard copy of the Standing Orders will be availed to each Member during the Pre-swearing-in and familiarization period. The Standing Orders may also be downloaded from the parliamentary website: www.parliament.go.ke.

 

14) Where can I get more information regarding the First Sitting of the new House and Opening of Parliament?

 

(a)  You may contact the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly through- P. O. Box 41842-00100, Nairobi, or Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or Tel. No. 020-2848000 or direct line- 020-3315959; or, The Table Office, on Tel. No. 020-2848000, Ext. Nos.3291, 4295 or 4214.

 

CONVENING OF A NEWLY ELECTED PARLIAMENT AND SWEARING-IN OF MEMBERS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

________________________________________________________________________

 

1)      Why the title “12th Parliament”?

The term of a Parliament commences after each general election. The Legislature commencing this Month and which follows the 8th August, 2017 general election will be the twelfth national legislature in independent Kenya.

 

2)     When is the first sitting of the 12th Parliament?

Pursuant to the provisions of Article 126(2) of the Constitution, the date for the first sitting of the new House is appointed by the President and should not be more than thirty days after the election, that is, not later than 7th September, 2017.

 

3)     How will the first sitting of the 12th Parliament be convened?

The place and date for the first sitting of a new House is appointed by the President, by way of a notice in the Gazette in accordance with Article 126(2) of the Constitution.

 

4)     Can a Member perform functions of the office of a Member before taking and subscribing to the Oath or Affirmation of Office?

Article 74 of the Constitution provides that before assuming a State Office, acting in a State Office, or performing any functions of a State office, a person shall take and subscribe the Oath or Affirmation of Office, in the manner and form prescribed by the Third Schedule or under an Act of Parliament.

 

5)     What business is transacted during the first sitting of the House?

On the first sitting of a new House, only the following business is transacted by the House-

(a)    Swearing-in: the Clerk administers the Oath or Affirmation of Office to all Members present in the House in alphabetical order, following the sequence prescribed under Standing Order 3(2) of the National Assembly Standing Orders, which is-

(i)     Members with the longest cumulative period of service in the National Assembly;

(ii)   Members with the longest cumulative period of service in the National Assembly, the East African Legislative Assembly and the Senate;

(iii) Members with the longest cumulative period of service in the Senate; and

(iv) All other Members.

 

(b)   Election of Speaker and Deputy Speaker: The election of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker follows the administration of Oath or Affirmation of Office to Members present.  

 

6)     When does the Office of the Speaker fall Vacant?

Article 106(2) of the Constitution provides that the office of the Speaker or Deputy Speaker shall become vacant –

(a)  when a new House of Parliament first meets after an election;

(b)   if the office holder, as a Member of the relevant House vacates office under Article 103;

(c)    if the relevant House so resolves by resolution supported by the votes of at least two-thirds of its Members; or

(d)   if the office holder resigns from office in a letter addressed to the relevant House.

 

7)     Who qualifies to be elected as Speaker or Deputy Speaker?

Article 106(1) of the Constitution provides that a Speaker is elected from persons who are qualified to be elected as Members of Parliament but are not such Members and further that the a Deputy Speaker is elected from among the Members of the House.  

 

8)     How is the nomination of candidates for election to the Office of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker undertaken?

(a)    Upon the President notifying the place and date for the first sitting of a new Assembly pursuant to Article 126(2) of the Constitution, the Clerk by notice in the Gazette notifies that fact to the public and invites interested persons collect nomination papers for election to the offices of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker.

 

(b)   Standing Order 5 of the National Assembly Standing Orders also provides, among others, that the nomination papers -

(i)     are to be returned at least 48 hours before the time appointed for the House to meet to elect the Speaker; and,


 

 

(ii)   of a candidate ought to be accompanied by names and signatures of 20 Members of the National Assembly who support the candidate and a declaration by them that the candidate is qualified to be elected as an MP under Article 99 of the Constitution and is willing to serve as the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker.

 

9)     How is the election of the Speaker and Deputy Speakers conducted?

Standing Orders 6, 7, 11 and 12 of the National Assembly Standing Orders provide, amongst others, that-

(a)    the election of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker is conducted through secret ballot;

 

(b)   A person shall not be elected as Speaker or Deputy Speaker, unless supported in the ballot by the votes of two-thirds of all Members. If no candidate is supported by the votes of two-thirds of all Members in the first round, the candidates who received the highest and the next highest number of votes stand for election in the next round. The candidate who receives the highest number of votes in that final round becomes the elected Speaker or the Deputy Speaker, as the case may be.

 

(c)    If there is only one candidate who has been duly nominated for election of the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker at the expiry of the nomination period, the candidate shall be declared forthwith to have been elected Speaker or Deputy Speaker without any ballot or vote being taken.

 

(d)   Immediately following the election of the Speaker, the Clerk administers the Oath or Affirmation of Office to the Speaker. Thereafter, the Speaker conducts the election of the Deputy Speaker and subsequently administers the Oath or Affirmation of Office to the Deputy Speaker-elect.

 

10)  Who determines Questions that may arise in the House during the first sitting?

Standing Order 3(4) of the National Assembly Standing Orders provides that when the Clerk is administering the Oath or Affirmation of Office to Members and before the Clerk has administered the Oath or Affirmation to the Office of the Speaker, any question arising in the House is determined by the Clerk of the National Assembly who, during that period, exercises the powers of the Speaker until the Speaker is elected and takes Oath or Affirmation of Office.

 

11)  How do new Members familiarize with the Standing Orders, Procedures in the House and Parliament buildings?

Arrangements are underway to facilitate the following activities-

(a)    Pre-swearing-in and familiarization - This will take place before the first sitting of the National Assembly; and,

 

(b)   Induction programme - This will take place after Members been sworn-in. The programme is scheduled to run for five days and will cover various subjects amongst them; rules of procedure in the House; processing of legislative businesses; the committee system; services available to Members; conduct and privileges of Members, among other subjects.

 

12)  When does the official Opening of Parliament take place?

Following the first sitting of the House, the two Speakers ordinarily consults with the Presidency and other parliamentary leaderships on the date of the Official Opening of Parliament, which pursuant to the provisions of Article 132(1)(a) of the Constitution, is addressed by the President.

 

13)  How can I obtain a copy of the Standing Orders of the House?

A hard copy of the Standing Orders will be availed to each Member during the Pre-swearing-in and familiarization period. The Standing Orders may also be downloaded from the parliamentary website: www.parliament.go.ke.

 

14)  Where can I get more information regarding the First Sitting of the new House and Opening of Parliament?

 

(a)    You may contact the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly through- P. O. Box 41842-00100, Nairobi, or Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or Tel. No. 020-2848000 or direct line- 020-3315959; or, The Table Office, on Tel. No. 020-2848000, Ext. Nos.3291, 4295 or 4214.

Contact Us

The Clerk 
Senate
Tel: 254 2 2221291 or 2848000
Fax: 254 2 2243694

The Clerk
Kenya National Assembly
Tel: 254 2 2221291 or 2848000
Fax: 254 2 2243694

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