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THE LEGISLATURE

THE LEGISLATURE

Part 5–Parliament's general procedures and rules

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Powers, privileges and immunities

  1. There shall be freedom of speech and debate in Parliament.

  2. Parliament may, for the purpose of the orderly and effective discharge of the business of Parliament, provide for the powers, privileges and immunities of Parliament, its committees, the leader of the majority party, the leader of the minority party, the chairpersons of committees and members.

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Public access and participation

  1. Parliament shall–

    1. conduct its business in an open manner, and its sittings and those of its committees shall be in public; and

    2. facilitate public participation and involvement in the legislative and other business of Parliament and its committees.

  2. Parliament may not exclude the public, or any media, from any sitting unless in exceptional circumstances the relevant Speaker has determined that there are justifiable reasons for the exclusion.

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Right to petition Parliament

  1. Every person has a right to petition Parliament to consider any matter within its authority, including to enact, amend or repeal any legislation.

  2. Parliament shall make provision for the procedure for the exercise of this right.

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Official languages of Parliament

  1. The official languages of Parliament shall be Kiswahili, English and Kenyan Sign language, and the business of Parliament may be conducted in English, Kiswahili and Kenyan Sign language.

  2. In case of a conflict between different language versions of an Act of Parliament, the version signed by the President shall prevail.

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Quorum

  1. The quorum of Parliament shall be––

    1. fifty members, in the case of the National Assembly; or

    2. fifteen members, in the case of the Senate.

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Voting in Parliament

  1. Except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, any question proposed for decision in either House of Parliament shall be determined by a majority of the members in that House, present and voting.

  2. On a question proposed for decision in either House–

    1. the Speaker has no vote; and

    2. in the case of a tie, the question is lost.

  3. A member shall not vote on any question in which the member has a pecuniary interest.

  4. In reckoning the number of members of a House of Parliament for any purpose of voting in that House, the Speaker of that House shall not be counted as a member.

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Decisions of Senate

  1. On election, all the members of the Senate who were registered as voters in a particular county shall collectively constitute a single delegation for purposes of clause (4) and the member elected under Article 98 {Membership of the Senate} (1) (a) shall be the head of the delegation.

  2. When the Senate is to vote on any matter other than a Bill, the Speaker shall rule on whether the matter affects or does not affect counties.

  3. When the Senate votes on a matter that does not affect counties, each senator has one vote.

  4. Except as provided otherwise in this Constitution, in any matter in the Senate affecting counties–

    1. each county delegation shall have one vote to be cast on behalf of the county by the head of the county delegation or, in the absence of the head of the delegation, by another member of the delegation designated by the head of the delegation;

    2. the person who votes on behalf of a delegation shall determine whether or not to vote in support of, or against, the matter, after consulting the other members of the delegation; and

    3. the matter is carried only if it is supported by a majority of all the delegations.

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Committees and Standing Orders

  1. Each House of Parliament may establish committees, and shall make Standing Orders for the orderly conduct of its proceedings, including the proceedings of its committees.

  2. Parliament may establish joint committees consisting of members of both Houses and may jointly regulate the procedure of those committees.

  3. The proceedings of either House are not invalid just because of–

    1. a vacancy in its membership; or

    2. the presence or participation of any person not entitled to be present at, or to participate in, the proceedings of the House.

  4. When a House of Parliament considers any appointment for which its approval is required under this Constitution or an Act of Parliament––

    1. the appointment shall be considered by a committee of the relevant House;

    2. the committee's recommendation shall be tabled in the House for approval; and

    3. the proceedings of the committee and the House shall be in public.

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Power to call for evidence

  1. Either House of Parliament, and any of its committees, has power to summon any person to appear before it for the purpose of giving evidence or providing information.

  2. For the purposes of clause (1), a House of Parliament and any of its committees has the same powers as the High Court -

    1. to enforce the attendance of witnesses and examine them on oath, affirmation or otherwise;

    2. to compel the production of documents; and

    3. to issue a commission or request to examine witnesses abroad.


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