Lobbying for the vacant seat of Senate Deputy Speaker has intensified ahead of elections on Tuesday next week.
Speaker Kenneth Lusaka on Tuesday gazetted the removal of Tharaka Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki from the position and invited senators interested in the seat to pick nomination papers.
“I hereby notify you that the gazette notice has been released for publication today and notify and invite interested senators to submit their nomination papers,” Lusaka said in a communication to the House.
He said those interested should pick their nomination papers from the office of the Clerk of the Senate.
The announcement came amid intensified negotiations between the Jubilee and NASA on the lucrative seat.
Jubilee has placed on the table Senators Johnson Sakaja (Nairobi) and Margaret Kamar (Uasin Gishu), while NASA is said to be fronting either Nominated Senator Judith Pareno or Steward Madzayo (Kilifi).
Majority Chief Whip Irungu Kang’ata and his Minority counterpart Mutula Kilonzo Jr said negotiations were ongoing but they were keen to avoid direct competition.
“It is something that will be agreed upon because the ideal situation would be that Jubilee should have their position. But if they don’t have a candidate, we will field a person for that position. What we will avoid is outright competition,” Mutula said.
According to Standing Order No7, 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 will contest in the second round. A candidate who gets the majority of the votes will be declared the winner.
Going by Friday’s vote, a candidate backed by the handshake team will easily sail through in the first round of voting.
However, in the event there is only one candidate who has been duly nominated for election as Deputy Speaker at the expiry of the nomination period, that person shall be declared to have been elected.