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Kenya’s Parliament Reconvenes to Implement New Constitution

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  • Kenneth Marende, Kenya's speaker of parliament spoke with Clottey

Peter Clottey

The Speaker of Kenya’s parliament says the legislature will reconvene Tuesday following the decision by a majority of Kenyans to approve the newly-proposed constitution in last week’s referendum.

The Honorable Kenneth Merende told VOA parliament will soon set up committees that will see to the oversight, as well as the implementation, of the constitution.

“We’ve had a successful transition towards a new constitutional dispensation and we believe that this is good for the country. We see Kenya emerging, transformed and reformed and a greater country,” he said.

Kenya’s local media reports that President Mwai Kibaki is scheduled to publicly declare valid the new constitution on 27th August at the Uhuru Park in the capital, Nairobi.

The promulgation is reportedly in accordance with the Constitution of Kenya Review Act of 2008 and the Constitution of Kenya (amendment) Act of 2008.

Kenya's parliament in session
Kenya's parliament in session

Parliament speaker Merende said Kenyans are fully prepared to embrace the tenets of democracy.

“The president will have 14 days running from the 6th of August 2010 when the outcome of the referendum was gazetted and, therefore, published on the 6th of August. He has 14 days within which he can promulgate the new constitution,” Merende said.

He also said that opponents of the new constitution will also have 14 days to register their protest by legally challenging the result of the 4th August referendum.

According to Kenya’s Interim Independent Electoral Commission, a majority of Kenyans approved the new law in last week’s referendum. The electoral body said the 'Yes' team garnered about 67 percent of the total votes, while those against the constitution or the 'No' team only managed to get about 30 percent of the votes.

Speaker Merende said parliament will look at ways of implementing the new constitution.

“As parliament, we are set to begin the legislative program to ensure that we provide the necessary statutory underpinning to operationalize the new constitution. Among this is the mention of implementation and oversight committees of parliament, which will oversee the whole process,” Merende said.

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