Jubilee endorses Kamar to replace Kindiki in Senate
Hillary Mageka @hillarymageka
The Jubilee Party has endorsed Uasin Gishu Senator Prof Margaret Kamar to be 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 position after Kirinyaga Senator Charles Kabiru and Nominated lawmaker Millicent Omanga dropped out of the race.
They are Stewart Madzayo (Kilifi), Isaac Mwaura (Nominated), Judith Pareno (Nominated) and Kamar.
Pareno and Madzayo are both ODM members while Kamar and Mwaura are from Jubilee.
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 Murang’a Senator wrote on Twitter on Monday.
In his letter dated June 1, Senator Kibiru said he had unreservedly withdrawn his candidature “in the interest of promoting gender equality.”
He said he quit the contest after thorough 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 said.
He said the ongoing remake of politics called for sacrifice, some of which must be personal by nature.
The Senator thanked his colleagues for the support they extended to him while his candidature lasted.
“Similarly, I salute all friends in and out of the National Assembly who urged me on,” he said.
Commenting on Kibiru’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 Uhuru and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
With majority party endorsing Prof Kamar, a bitter face off is expected, pitting Kamar and her nominated counterpart Judith Pareno, said to be a compromise candidate for the Handshake team.
Uhuru’s Kieleweke wing of the Jubilee Party might support ODM candidate, Pareno, as a sign of returning favour 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.
For one to clinch the plum position in the first round, a nominee must garner at least two thirds of the votes cast, that is 45 out of the 67 votes.
According to the Standing Orders, a candidate wins the seat of 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 contest in the second round of voting.
Here, the candidate who gets the majority of the votes will be declared 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.