Historic vote as House debates International Criminal Court withdrawal

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Parliament+pxNairobi, Kenya: A stormy session is expected this afternoon when Parliament reopens to consider a controversial Motion to end membership of the International Criminal Court.

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And the High Court Wednesday declined to grant orders blocking President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto from travelling to The Hague for their trials, which have triggered the hostile parliamentary Motion.

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The National Assembly was recalled on Thursday for the emergency session whose agenda has prompted bitter exchanges between members of rival coalitions ahead of this afternoon’s special sitting.

As a pointer to the anticipated stormy debate, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has cut short his seven-day official trip in South Africa to preside over the session triggered by the impending ICC trials.

Muturi, sources told The Standard, was prevailed upon to return to the country from South Africa because the sitting is likely to be acrimonious.  His deputy Joyce Laboso had signed the notification recalling MPs on Thursday.

“The Deputy Speaker called Muturi Wednesday and after a lengthy discussion, the Speaker agreed to return home this morning,” said a source privy to the discussions.

The Speaker was last night scheduled to leave Johannesburg, where he had led the Kenyan delegation to the annual Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) meeting that closes on Saturday.

Immediate withdraw

Leader of Majority in the National Assembly Aden Duale will move the Motion that, if followed through, could see Kenya become the first nation to end membership of the ICC.

“This House resolves to introduce a Bill within the next 30 days to repeal the International Crimes Act (No. 16 of 2008) and that the Government urgently undertakes measures to immediately withdraw from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, adopted by the United Nations Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on July 17, 1998,” reads the Motion published by Duale.

He cites a resolution of the Tenth Parliament to repeal the International Crimes Act and to suspend any links, cooperation and assistance to the ICC, as justification for the action.-standardmedia.co.ke

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