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BY UPESI WRITER,NAIROBI,2ND JUNE,2020-Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka on Tuesday declared Uasin Gishu’s Margaret Kamar the duly elected Deputy speaker.
This follows the withdrawal of four candidates from the race.
“This leaves senator Prof Margaret Jepkoech Kamar as the only candidate for election for the office of deputy speaker of the Senate,” Lusaka said.
Standing Order No 11 as read together with order 13(4) states that in the event there is only one candidate who has been duly nominated for election as deputy speaker, that candidate shall be declared to have been elected deputy speaker without any ballot or vote being required and the speaker shall administer the oath or affirmation of the office of the deputy speaker in the presence of the established Senate.
“Accordingly, I hereby declare senator Prof Margaret Kamar as the duly elected deputy speaker of the Senate,” Lusaka said.
Kamar’s swearing-in is underway.
The seat fell vacant following the removal of Tharaka Nithi senator Kithure Kindiki by a majority vote on May 2022.
Kamar was facing competition from Isaac Mwaura (nominated – Jubilee), Judith Pareno (nominated – ODM), Steward Madzayo (Kilifi – ODM) and Charles Kibiru (Kirinyaga – Independent).
However, all the four threw in the towel, leaving the Uasin Gishu senator as the sole candidate.
Senators allied to President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga christened ‘the handshake team’ met and struck a deal to avoid competition for the seat.
“We have negotiated and we are leaving it to Kamar. She should be unopposed,” Pareno told the Star on Tuesday.
“Everybody has withdrawn so we are leaving it to her so that we don’t seem to be scrambling over the position. We are a handshake team and we don’t want to fight,” she added.
Pareno spoke moments after Mwaura submitted announced his withdrawal from the race after the party settled on Kamar.
“Following the Jubilee Party’s endorsement of Prof Margaret Kamar, I am stepping down as candidate for Deputy Speaker,” Mwaura said.
Mwaura said his to run for the second ‘most important position’ in the senate was inspired by the desire to ensure that the youth and persons with disabilities get represented in the top leadership of parliament.
“That I was the youngest of the five aspirants, and being a second term member, having served both in the National Assembly and senate, I believed that I had what it takes to preside over the house of Senate, independently, impartially and with sobriety,” he said.
On Monday, Madzayo also withdrawn from the race after he said are negotiations and consultations with his supporters, colleagues and Raila.
“My decision is premised majorly on the need to continue supporting the political coherence currently being advanced by H.E Raila Amollo Odinga and H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta,” he said.
He added, “I also believe my decision to no longer run for the post of Senate Deputy Speaker, will advance gender equity; a spirit I passionately subscribe to.”
Kirinyaga’s Kibiru was the first person to withdraw his candidature soon after Senate Majority Chief Whip Irungu Kang’ata announced Jubilee party will support Kamar.
“Those inquiring about tomorrow’s Senate Deputy Speaker’s election. All contestants are very capable and qualified,” Kang’ata said via Twitter.
“However, Jubilee supports women empowerment. I endorse Prof Margaret Kamar.”