Newly elected Members of Parliament (MPs), in both the Senate and the National Assembly, took their oath of office on Thursday marking the beginning of the term of the 13th Parliament. An immediate task that the members undertook was the election of the Speakers and Deputy Speakers of both Houses.
Former Governor of Kilifi County, Hon. Amason Jeffah Kingi clinched the Senate Speaker seat with 46 votes out of 67. In the National Assembly, two-time Bungoma Senator, Hon. Moses Wetang’ula was declared the Speaker after garnering 215 votes against former Speaker Kenneth Marende’s 130 votes, who conceded in the first round.
Newly elected Meru Senator, Hon. Kathuri Murungi was declared the Deputy Speaker of the Senate, following the withdrawal of his only opponent, Kilifi Senator, Hon. Stewart Madzayo. Uasin Gishu Women Representative, Hon. Gladys Shollei was declared the National Assembly Deputy Speaker after garnering 198 votes against her opponent, Hon. Farah Maalim who got 139 votes and conceded in the first round.
With the two Houses having reached this decision, the next key task will be determining the leadership of the House by the two leading coalitions. The parliamentary groups for the ruling and opposing coalitions will have to reach a decision on the Majority and Minority Leaders, Whips, Chairs and Vice chairs of parliamentary committees and their membership.
Kenyans expect the MPs to hit the ground running to put in place policy reforms that would address issues of priority to mwananchi. Key among them is the high cost of living. This proved to be the dominant theme among our SMS respondents who called on the MPs to lower the cost of everyday consumer goods such as fuel, food, cooking oil and other household items.
Coincidentally, this is highlighted among the pledges that the administration of the President-elect, William Ruto will seek to actualize within 100 days of being in power.
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