House recalled as Jubilee leaders push for Kenya’s withdrawal from ICC

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Kenya: A two-pronged assault on the International Criminal Court was launched by Parliament and in local courts, a week to the trial of the first Kenyan case at The Hague.

Today the High Court will hear an application seeking to block President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto from travelling to The Hague for their trials “to avert a power vacuum”.

On Tuesday; the court certified as urgent the application by the National Conservative Forum filed by their lawyer John Khaminwa.

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On Thursday afternoon, the National Assembly will reopen early for a special sitting to discuss a motion intended to sanction withdrawal of Kenya from theRome Statute, which established the ICC.

And at The Hague, Ruto has petitioned the ICC presidency to reconvene the plenary of judges to reconsider his application to have his trial either in Kenya or Tanzania, which was rejected after a narrow vote.  Tuesday, Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso recalled the MPs for the special sitting on Thursday at 2.30pm to discuss the Motion “relating to membership of Kenya to the Rome Statute of the ICC.”

Laboso told The Standard shortly after the public release of the Gazette Notice that she had acted on a request by the Leader of Majority, Adan Duale. She said the Standing Orders allowed the Speaker to recall MPs for a special sitting to discuss specific matters that are deemed “urgent and exceptional”.

“Standing Order 29 (3) is very clear that the Speaker, may on the request of the Leader of the Majority Party or the Leader of the Minority Party appoint a day for a special sitting of the House. I am also required to notify the members of the place, date and time appointed for the special sitting,” the Deputy Speaker said.

“It is the only business that we are going to talk about on that day. After that, members will go back to their recess,” the Deputy Speaker told The Standard.

Power vacuum

Parliament was scheduled to reconvene on September 17. Leader of Majority in the Senate Kithure Kindiki indicated he had also petitioned Speaker Ekwee Ethuro to recall the Senate to discuss the same Motion.

The Minority Leader in the National Assembly, Francis Nyenze, said he had not been consulted in the decision to recall the House. He said CORD has planned a special Parliamentary Group meeting tomorrow afternoon to strategise on how to deal with the issue.-standardmedia.co.ke

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