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National Assembly

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Parliament name Parliament of Kenya
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name National Assembly
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Senate
Title Speaker of the National Assembly
Term - duration: 5 years, renewable (term of House); re-elected for a second five-year term on 3 February 1998
- reasons for interruption of the term: death, resignation, no confidence motion by the House if carried by 75% of the Members
Appointment - elected by all the Members except the ex officio Members
- election is held when the National Assembly first meets after general elections or when a vacancy for the office of Speaker arises
- after Members' mandates are validated and before Members are sworn in
Eligibility - a sitting Member of Parliament or any other person qualified to become a Member may be candidate
- the deadline for notification of candidature is at least 48 hours before the time set for election
Voting system - formal vote by secret ballot
- several rounds are held if no candidate obtains the required majority ( 2/3 of Members in the first 2 rounds and simple majority in the third round)
- no new candidates are admitted between rounds. Only the two candidates with the highest number of votes proceed to contest in the third round
Procedures / results - the Clerk presides over the Assembly during the voting
- the Clerk supervises the voting
- the Clerk announces the results immediately after the election
- the results cannot be challenged
Status - the rank of Speaker is the same as that of Minister
- represents the National Assembly with the public authorities and in international bodies
- is ex officio President of committees
- in the absence of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker or a Member of the Chairmen's Panel can assume his/her role and functions
Board - the Chairmen's Panel is regulated by the Standing Orders
- the Speaker nominates three Members of Parliament (drawn from the Members who are not Ministers) in every session to form this Panel, with the approval of the House
- meets on the Speaker's initiative without regular schedule
- presides over the House and performs the duties of the Speaker in the absence of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker
Material facilities - salary of K£ 6,000 /year
- sitting allowance (K£ 1,800/year)
- House allowance (K£ 30,000/year if no accommodation is provided)
- ex officio Member allowance (K£ 3,120/year)
- transport allowance as approved by the Treasury
- responsibility allowance of K£ 9,720/year
- office with secretarial staff
Organization of parliamentary business - convenes sessions (when Parliament is not prorogued)
- establishes and modifies the agenda
- organises the debates and sets speaking time together with the House
- examines the admissibility of bills and amendments
- refers texts to a committee for study
- examines the admissibility of request for setting up committees and/or committees of enquiry, proposes or decides on the setting up of such committees
Chairing of public sittings - opens, adjourns and closes sittings
- ensures respect for provisions of the Constitution and Standing Orders
- makes announcements concerning the Assembly
- takes disciplinary measures in the event of disturbance, and lifts such measures
- establishes the list of speakers, gives and withdraws permission to speak
- calls for a vote, decides how it is to be carried out, verifies the voting procedure and cancels a vote in the event of irregularities
- checks the quorum upon request by a Member
- authenticates the adopted texts and the records of debates
- interprets the rules or other regulations governing the life of the Assembly
- has discretionary power to give the floor outside the agenda and thus organises impromptu debates
Special powers - makes consultations and recommendations in liaison with the Government for the appointment of the Clerk
- organises the services of Parliament through the Speaker's Committee which he/she chairs.
- is responsible for relations with foreign Parliaments
Speaking and voting rights, other functions - provides guidelines for the interpretation or completion of the text under discussion
- takes part in voting if there is a tie on any vote requiring a special majority
- proposes bills or amendments
- intervenes in the parliamentary oversight procedure

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