Political parties’ registrar Ann Nderitu has dealt a huge blow to President William Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza alliance. The coalition has set its eyes on controlling both the National Assembly and Senate owing to their numerical strength but if faced with the legal quagmire of some of its parties still being recognized as members of the Azimio La Umoja coalition.
In the letter forwarded to speakers of both houses of parliament, the Registrar of Political Parties stated that Maendeleo Chap Chap (MCC) and Pamoja African Alliance (PAA) were not recognized members of the Kenya Kwanza alliance.
The two parties exited Azimio before the August 9 General Election, citing secrecy in the coalition agreement. However, the political parties registrar noted that the two parties had filed petitions to break ties with Azimio.
Immediately after the elections, Movement for Democracy and Growth (MDG) Party, led by Ugenya MP David Ochieng and United Democratic Movement (UDM) led by Ali Roba, also ditched Azimio and filed petitions seeking to officially join Kenya Kwanza.
Despite the development, the political parties’ registrar explained that the petitions by the parties to exit Azimio were yet to be ruled on. With her clarification, 26 political parties that formed Azimio were still intact in the coalition, with Kenya Kwanza having 15 parties only.
The dissenting parties were also still bonded in Azimio as the agreement deposited with the Registrar of Political Parties stipulates that no party can withdraw from the coalition six months before the August 2022 General Election or within three months after the date of the said polls.
However, some legislators drawn from Kenya kwanza questioned the clause in the agreement. Garissa Town MP, Aden Duale, argued that Kenya Kwanza commands the majority in both houses.
He further claimed that Azimio was registered as a political party but instead only decided to field a presidential candidate yet it was eligible to field candidates in all elective positions. In Duale’s school of thought, Azimio does not have elected members of parliament.
His sentiments were corroborated by Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichungwah, who is eyeing the Leader of Majority post in the National Assembly. Ichungwah is set to battle it out with Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi, who was fronted by Azimio.
Despite the pronouncement by the Registrar of Political Parties, the final decision on which side has a legal majority lies with the Speakers of both houses who will rule over the matter.