Inside Politics

Jubilee endorses Kamar for Deputy Speaker post

Monday, June 1st, 2020 15:53 | By

The Jubilee Party has endorsed Uasin Gishu Senator Prof. Margaret Kamar to be the Senate deputy speaker.

The seat fell vacant following the acrimonious ouster of Tharaka Nithi Senator Prof Kithure Kindiki.

Four Senators will battle for the vacant Senate Deputy Speaker’s position after Kirinyaga Senator Charles Kabiru and nominated lawmaker Millicent Omanga dropped out of the race.

They are Steward Madzayo (Kilifi –ODM), Isaac Mwaura (nominated – Jubilee), Judith Pareno (nominated –ODM) and Prof Kamar herself.

Pareno and Madzayo are both ODM members while Kamar and Mwaura are Jubilee senators.

Making the announcement on Monday, Senate Majority Whip Senator Irungu Kang'ata endorsed the Uasin Gishu lawmaker for the coveted seat.

“Those inquiring about tomorrow's Senate Deputy Speaker’s election. All contestants are very capable and qualified. However, Jubilee supports women empowerment.

I endorse Prof Margaret Kamar.” Kang'ata who doubles up as Muranga Senator wrote on Twitter on Monday.

In his letter dated June 1st, Senator Kibiru said he had unreservedly withdrawn his candidature “in the interest of promoting gender equality”

According to him, quitting the contest was after through and wide consultations in the spirit of negotiated democracy.

“I will, therefore not seek election for that position,” he said in a letter addressed to Senate Clerk Jeremiah Nyegenye.

“As a matter of principle, I believe that the interests of our nation at this point in time when President Uhuru Kenyatta is keen on fostering greater coherence among Kenya, it would be derelict of me not to view my would be victory as merely pyrrhic,” the Senator added noting that the ongoing remake of politics calls for sacrifice, some of which must be person by nature.

The Senator thanked his colleagues in the senate for the support they extended to him while his candidature lasted.

Commenting on Kabiru’s withdraw, Senator Kang'ata noted: “Good work my brother Senator Kibiru. You are set for great things”

The race is likely to generated intense lobbying and put to test the March 2018 truce and resultant political cooperation between President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

With Majority party endorsing Prof Kamar, bitter face off is expected pitting Kamar and her nominated counterpart Judith Pareno, who is said to be a compromise candidate for the handshake team.

President Kenyatta's Kieleweke wing of the Jubilee Party might support ODM candidate, Pareno, as a sign of returning favour to for their support during the removal of Tharaka Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki Kamar, on the other hand, is being fronted to appease Rift Valley after Murkomen and Kihika were kicked out

The election will be conducted in the Senate chamber with all the members expected to vote through secret ballot.

According to the Standing Orders, a candidate wins the seat of the speaker or deputy speaker if he gets two-thirds of the votes.

Should one fail to marshal the requisite number of votes in the first round of the voting, candidates with the first and second-highest number of votes will contest in the second round of voting.

Here, the candidate who gets the majority of the votes will be declared the winner.

Kindiki was removed from the position over claims of insubordination after he skipped President Uhuru Kenyatta’s meeting at State House on May 11.
Some 54 ‘handshake’ senators – allied to the president and ODM leader Raila Odinga – voted to remove him with only seven – Deputy President William Ruto’s-leaning lawmakers opposing his ouster.

Going by last week vote, a candidate backed by the ‘handshake team’ will easily sail through in the first round of voting.

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