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The Political Leadership of the National Assembly in Kenya

The Political Leadership of the National Assembly in Kenya

The political leadership of the National Assembly in Kenya plays a vital role in the National Assembly. The National Assembly is one of the legislative arms of the national government. Its major role is to represent the people, legislate (make laws) for the national government and also play oversight over the national government.

The political leadership of the National Assembly in Kenya

The political leadership of the National Assembly in Kenya comprises of the following members:

  • Majority Leader (and Deputy Majority Leader),
  • Minority Leader (and Deputy Minority Leader),
  • Majority Chief Whip (and Deputy Majority Chief Whip), and
  • Minority Chief Whip (and Deputy Minority Chief Whip).

Now, let’s explore further the role of the political leadership of the National Assembly in Kenya.

National Assembly Majority Leader, Deputy National Assembly Majority Leader, National Assembly Majority Whip and Deputy National Assembly Majority Whip

In the order of precedence of the political leadership of the National Assembly in Kenya, the Majority Leader is at the top, followed by the Minority Leader.

The largest party or coalition of parties in the National Assembly becomes the Majority Party. It should elect a member of the National Assembly belonging to the party or coalition of parties to be the —

  • National Assembly Majority Leader;
  • Deputy National Assembly Majority Leader;
  • National Assembly Majority Whip; and
  •  Deputy National Assembly Majority Whip.

The leader of the majority party is the person who is the leader of the largest party or coalition of parties in the National Assembly.

He or she is the lead speaker for the majority party during floor debates. The Majority National Assembly Party Leader spearheads the legislative agenda of the largest party or coalition of parties in the Assembly.

When the National Assembly Majority Leader is absent or is unable to perform his or her functions, the Deputy National Assembly Majority Leader should perform the functions of the office of the National Assembly Majority Leader in an acting capacity.

In the absence of both theNational Assembly Majority Leader and the Deputy National Assembly Majority Leader, the National Assembly Majority Whip should perform the functions of the office of the National Assembly Majority Leader in an acting capacity.

In electing all the majority officials above, the Majority Party should take into account:

  • any existing coalition agreement entered into pursuant to the Political Parties Act; and
  • the need for gender balance.

A member of the National Assembly elected under any of the majority positions may be removed by a majority of the votes of all the MPs belonging to the Majority Party. The removal of a member of the National Assembly from office as above should not take effect until another member of the National Assembly has been elected into the concerned majority position.

Upon a decision being made by the Majority Party or coalition, the decision of the Party or coalition should be communicated to the National Assembly Speaker in writing, together with the minutes of the meeting at which the decision was made-

  • in the case of the removal of the National Assembly Majority Leader or the Deputy National Assembly Majority Leader, by the National Assembly Majority Whip; and
  • in the case of the removal of the National Assembly Majority Whip or the Deputy National Assembly Majority Whip, by the National Assembly Majority Leader.

National Assembly Minority Leader, Deputy National Assembly Minority Leader, National Assembly Minority Whip and Deputy National Assembly Minority Whip

The second-largest party or coalition of parties in the National Assembly should be the Minority Party and should elect––

  • a member of the National Assembly belonging to the party or coalition of parties to be the National Assembly Minority Leader;
  • a member of the National Assembly belonging to the party or coalition of parties to be the Deputy National Assembly Minority Leader;
  • a member of the National Assembly belonging to the party or coalition of parties to be the National Assembly Minority Whip; and
  • a member of the National Assembly belonging to the party or coalition of parties to be the Deputy National Assembly Minority Whip.

The leader of the minority party is the person who is the leader of the minor party or coalition of parties in the National Assembly.

He or she is the lead speaker for the minority party during floor debates. The Minority National Assembly Party Leader spearheads the legislative agenda of the minor party or coalition of parties in the Assembly.

Whenever the National Assembly Minority Leader is absent or unable to perform his or her official duties and responsibilities, the Deputy National Assembly Minority Leader should be in charge. In the absence of the Deputy National Assembly Minority Leader, the National Assembly Minority Whip or the Deputy National Assembly Minority Whip should be in charge of those duties and responsibilities in an acting capacity.

In electing a member of the National Assembly for the minority positions, the Minority Party shall take into account-

  • any existing coalition agreement entered into pursuant to the Political Parties Act; and
  • the need for gender balance.

A member of the National Assembly elected for any of the minority positions may be removed by a majority of the votes of all MPs belonging to the Minority Party. The removal of a member of the National Assembly from office as above should not take effect until an MP is elected to replace them.

Upon a decision being made by the Minority Party, the decision of the Party shall be communicated to the National Assembly Speaker in writing, together with the minutes of the meeting at which the decision was made-

  • in the case of the removal of the National Assembly Minority Leader or the Deputy National Assembly Minority Leader, by the National Assembly Minority Whip; and
  • in the case of the removal of the National Assembly Minority Whip or the Deputy National Assembly Minority Whip, by the National Assembly Minority Leader.

For more about the political leadership of the National Assembly in Kenya, see the National Assembly’s Standing Orders.

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