Cablegate: President Kibaki Dissolves Parliament
DE RUEHNR #4186/01 2970359
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 240359Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
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INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 NAIROBI 004186
DEPT FOR AF/E
LONDON, PARIS FOR AFRICA WATCHER
TAGS: PREL PGOV KUM KE
SUBJECT: PRESIDENT KIBAKI DISSOLVES PARLIAMENT
REF: NAIROBI 3994 AND PREVIOUS
Summary and Introduction
1. (SBU) On October 22, President Mwai Kibaki delivered a televised
address dissolving Parliament and officially triggering Kenya?s
election clock. Kibaki also announced that he signed eleven bills
into law immediately prior to the dissolution, including the
important Political Parties Bill (reftel). The Speaker of
Parliament now has two weeks to declare seats vacant. After that,
the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) determines and announces the
election-day and so starts the official campaign season. Some
political observers are speculating that the election will be held
during the week of December 17, while others claim it will begin on
December 27. Everyone tells us, however, that the elections will
take place before the end of the year.
2. (SBU) In Kenya, the entirety of the Parliament stands for
reelection at once, meaning that, except for those MPs actually
representing parts of Nairobi, the capital city will be largely
empty of elected officials. With the traditional mid-November party
primaries just around the corner, most of the newly dismissed MPs,
in fact, have already hit the campaign trail in their home
constituencies. End summary and introduction.
Text of President Kibaki's Televised Address
3. (U) Kibaki's address was as follows:
This morning, I signed into law eleven bills that were recently
passed by the Ninth Parliament.
The new Acts of Parliament include the Finance Act, the
Appropriations Act, the Political Parties Act, and the Constituency
Development Fund (Amendment) Act among others. This concludes the
business of the Ninth Parliament, which during its five-year mandate
passed 67 bills, including several landmark laws and policies.
The Ninth Parliament was unique in many ways. For the first time in
our nation's history, KANU was not the governing party in the House.
More importantly, the incoming ruling party NARC ushered in
coalition politics as a defining factor in Kenya's political
This form of politics is likely to be with us for many years to
come. The management of coalition politics and government has been a
major challenge during the Ninth Parliament, providing many lessons
to be applied by future Parliaments and governing parties.
Nevertheless, coalition politics has contributed immensely towards
expanding democratic freedoms, and advancing the politics of
inclusion and accountability.
Happily, from the experience gained during this period, Parliament
enacted a Political Parties Act aimed at instituting orderly
management of party politics in the country.
There are many things that the Ninth Parliament will be remembered
for, some positive, and others not so positive. I would like to
leave the fuller picture of this Parliament to be evaluated by the
media and historians in the days to come.
Today, I would prefer to dwell largely on the positive aspects of
the outgoing Parliament. The Ninth Parliament will be remembered for
instituting laws and policies that have tremendously improved the
economic development and management of the country.
These include, the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), which is a
landmark law and policy bringing equitable development to all parts
of this country.
With regard to infrastructure, the Ninth Parliament passed several
laws that will enable us to invest public resources more effectively
and in a more focused manner. Among them, are laws establishing the
urban, rural, and national highways authorities as well as the Rural
This Parliament also passed laws that streamlined the management of
public finances and the financial sector, particularly with regard
to public procurement, fiscal management, private investment, and
the banking sector.
For the small businesses and informal sector, the House passed into
law the Microfinance Act that will facilitate their growth and
The Ninth Parliament will also be remembered for legislating the
most comprehensive legal and institutional framework to deal with
Among the landmark laws passed by the Ninth Parliament in this
regard were the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act that
established the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission, and the Public
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Officer Ethics Act that made it compulsory for public servants to
declare their wealth.
However, an important matter that the Ninth Parliament was unable to
deal with conclusively is giving Kenyans a new Constitution.
Parliament and the country spent a lot time and resources on the
constitutional review process. The business however remains
This will be a priority item for the next Parliament so as to put
the matter of a new Constitution behind us.
Turning to social policy issues, the Ninth Parliament will be
remembered for passing laws for the protection of women's and
Indeed, the House passed the Children's Act as well as the Sexual
Offences Act, both of which were seminal laws that have advanced the
cause of the protection of children and women from violence and
We have now come to the end of the life of the Ninth Parliament.
Before concluding my remarks, I recall with deep regret some of our
dear colleagues and friends in the Ninth Parliament who lost their
lives under tragic circumstances while serving the people of Kenya
We also remember those who died from natural causes.
Finally, and in exercise of the powers conferred upon me by Section
59(2) of the Constitution of Kenya, I hereby dissolve the Ninth
Parliament of the Republic of Kenya with immediate effect.
I take this opportunity to wish all Honorable Members well as we
return to our constituents to seek a new mandate. I also appeal to
all political leaders and Kenyans in general to ensure that we have
peaceful, free and fair general elections.
It is only through a fair and credible poll, free of violence and
intimidation that the true verdict of the people will prevail.
Thank you and God bless You All
God Bless Kenya.