In compliance with pre-election coalition agreements filed with the Registrar of Political Parties, Azimio has a majority of 173 MPs over Kenya Kwanza’s 164 MPs in the National Assembly
By Lavin Atieno
The top leadership of the United Democratic Movement Party (UDM) led by Mandera Senator Ali Roba has filed a lawsuit in court after being ‘lumped’ by the Registrar of Political Parties as a member party of the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition; UDM has allied itself with the Kenya Kwanza coalition.
This move could see the parliamentary supremacy battle between the Kenya Kwanza team and the Azimio teams come to an end. Both teams claim to have the majority of MPs in the National Assembly.
The UDM party now claims it was coerced into joining the Azimio coalition before the elections but they have since switched sides. In compliance with pre-election coalition agreements filed with the Registrar of Political Parties, Azimio has a majority of 173 MPs over Kenya Kwanza’s 164 MPs in the National Assembly. The other 12 MPs in the 349-member House are Independents who are not considered for purposes of assigning the majority side.
Following Kenya Kwanza’s move to poach MPs, they have a majority of 175 MPs against Azimio’s 162, which means a decision on UDM membership will settle the dispute. UDM has however continued to reiterate that it signed a post-election coalition deal with Kenya Kwanza which supersedes the deal they made with the Azimio coalition which they claim was secured through coercion.
The party has been forced to file the petition as they cannot be a member of more than one coalition as advised by the Registrar of Political Parties Anne Nderitu. The only other alternative left for UDM to sever their ties with the Azimio coalition will be for them to wait another three months after the elections before exiting the coalition but that would see the Azimio team granted the majority side in parliament. The party, however, through Lunga Lunga MP Mr Mangale Chiforomodo, has moved to court to challenge this restrictive timeline.
“It is indeed baffling that despite the post-election coalition agreement we signed with the Kenya Kwanza coalition under the Political Parties Act, 2011, the Registrar of Political Parties knowingly disregarded the law and unlawfully associated our party with a non-existent coalition agreement with the Azimio Coalition,” UDM said in the letter dated September 16.
If UDM wins the petition then Kenya Kwanza will claim the majority side led by Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wah but if they lose the petition then the Azimio team will claim the majority side led by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi