ARUSHA, The inauguration of the fourth East African Legislative Assembly (Eala), scheduled for Monday (June 5), has been pushed to a later date.

The spokesperson of the Arusha-based regional Parliament Bobi Odiko told reporters that Kenya was not likely to have picked its lawmakers.

He said the Kenyan National Assembly notified Eala Thursday (June 1) that its election process for the country’s representatives had not started. Kenya also requested that swearing in of the fourth Assembly be postponed.

The country is the only East African Community (EAC) partner state that has not submitted the names of its new members for the Assembly.

The postponement of the inauguration of new Parliament was also confirmed by the outgoing Eala Speaker Daniel Kidega after he dissolved the third Assembly late Thursday.

Slight delay

“There will be a slight delay of the take off of the next Eala because Kenya has not yet sent us the names of its representatives,” he told journalists.

The planned inauguration was to include the swearing in of the recently elected Eala members from all the six EAC member states; Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda and South Sudan.

Earlier, Eala officials had indicated that the swearing in would go ahead without the Kenyan parliamentarians but this was also shelved.

Odiko could not say when the House will be convened but hinted that they expected Kenya to elect its MPs and submit the names to Eala within two weeks’ time.

According to Eala Rules of Procedure, the Assembly cannot conduct any business in the absence of at least four MPs from each EAC partner state.

Poll campaigns

Kenya is gearing up for August General Election and there are fears that the process to elect Eala representatives could be further delayed as its National Assembly and Senate would soon be dissolved on June 15.

Eala is the legislative organ of the EAC made up of nine elected members each of the six partner states — Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda and South Sudan.

The South Sudan MPs will be joining Eala for the first time since the country’s admission to EAC in 2015.

Eala will now have 54 MPs, up from the current 45.