President Uhuru Kenyatta has signed the recently enacted Political Parties(Amendment) Bill of 2021 into law.
Uhuru was presented with the bill for signature at a brief ceremony attended by among others Attorney General Paul Kihara, Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka and his National Assembly counterpart Justin Muturi.
The bill was passed by the Senate after lawmakers allied to President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga outvoted those allied to Deputy President William Ruto.
Pro-handshake senators who voted in favour of the bill were 28, those allied to DP Ruto were 10 whereas those who opposed the bill were 3.
The new law amends the Political Parties Act of 2011 by introducing the concept of coalition political parties, outlining functions of political parties as well as changing the criteria of accessing the Political Parties Fund.
The law also empowers the Registrar of Political Parties to certify political party membership lists and nomination rules among other transformative provisions aimed at strengthening management of political parties and enhancing democracy.
Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen had warned against supporting the bill terming it terrible, hopeless and useless.
He argued that the powers awarded to the Registrar of Political Parties were dictatorial and unconstitutional seeking to have the entire clause 22 of the amendment bill deleted.
“The elections under the Constitution, is a function of IEBC, unfortunately, because some people want to micromanage political parties, they have given RPP the responsibility to manage political parties in terms of verifying registers and giving specific timelines,” protested Murkomen.