By: B M J MURIITHI
Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi has said that Kenya stands to gain a lot by paying attention to some of the best legislative practices in well-established Parliaments and older democracies.
Speaking in the United States on the weekend, MrMuturi said the political party culture in the different states was complementary to the work of the Parliaments.
He made the remarks after he and a delegation from Kenya Parliamentary Service Commission were conducted on a tour of Washington State legislature in Olympia, US.
MrMuturi said the challenges facing Kenya’s two houses of parliament were not unique since “even here, tensions still exist due to shared mandates.”
He however noted that there were several other practices which the Kenya National Assembly can emulate.
“The system here has a provision for the administration to even employ partisan staffers to serve in political party caucuses. That in itself is very useful in nurturing a democratic culture,” he said.
Earlier, Muturi held meetings with State Senator Karen Fraser, State representative Chris Warren and Chief Clerk, Barbara Baker in the legislative chambers.
Others were senior Staff coordinator, Brad Hendrickson as well as senior Counsels Mike Hoover and Keith Buchholz.
“We exchanged notes in many areas of mutual interest and the four Kenyan Parliamentary Service Commissioners who accompanied me have learnt a lot on this trip,” he told the Nation on phone.
Although the Washington State legislature is bicameral like Kenya, the legislators are part-time and only sit when necessary. During even years, they sit for as few as sixty days.
“We were keen to learn how the two chambers relate especially in areas of shared mandates and how they operate jointly,” said MrMuturi.