The Leadership of the County Assembly in Kenya

The leadership of the County Assembly in Kenya plays a vital role in the Assembly. The County Assembly is the legislative arm of the county government. It deals with legislation (making and amending laws) and also oversees the County Executive.

See the role of the County Assembly in Kenya and the role of the Members of the County Assembly in Kenya to learn about the County Assembly and its Members. Also, check out the structure of the County Government to learn more about the functions of the County Executive.

The Leadership of the County Assembly in Kenya

The leadership of the County Assembly in Kenya comprises of the following members:

  • The Speaker (and Deputy Speaker),
  • Majority Leader (and Deputy Majority Leader),
  • Minority Leader (and Deputy Minority Leader),
  • Majority Chief Whip (and Deputy Majority Chief Whip), and
  • Minority Chief Whip (and Deputy Minority Chief Whip).

Now, let’s explore further the role of the leadership of the County Assembly in Kenya.

The County Assembly Speaker

Article 178 of the Kenyan Constitution 2010 provides for the position of the Speaker of the County Assembly.

The County Assembly Speaker presides over the sittings of the County Assembly. In their absence, the Deputy Speaker (an MCA elected by the Assembly) should preside over the sittings of the Assembly.

In the order of precedence of the leadership of the County Assembly in Kenya, the County Assembly Speaker is at the top. Next in line is the Majority Leader and then the Minority Leader.

Some of the duties and responsibilities of the Speaker of the County Assembly are as follows:

  • presiding over the debates of the County Assembly at every sitting of the Assembly,
  • maintaining County Assembly attendance register
  • enforce the observance of the Constitution, the Standing Orders, relevant statute and Assembly traditions, procedures and practices,
  • disciplining members of County Assembly for misconduct in the county assembly,
  • issuing orders and making rules for the regulation of visitors to the County Assembly precincts,
  • administer the oath of affirmation or allegiance to Members,
  • issue writs for vacant County Assembly seats,
  • protect the rights of the minority while making sure that the majority have their way,
  • organize the business of the House as he or she is the Chairman of the House Business Committee,
  • spokesperson of the County Assembly and shall ensure that the dignity of the County Assembly and by extension, the Assembly, is upheld and its rights and privileges are not abused,
  • the Speaker is the final authority on all matters touching on the interpretation and application of the practice and procedure of Assembly at all times.

The Majority Party Leader

The leader of the majority party is the person who is the leader of the largest party or coalition of parties in the county assembly.

He or she is the lead speaker for the majority party during floor debates.

The office of the Leader of Majority Party (and deputy Majority Party Leader) is under Section 10 (1) of the County Governments Act 2012.

The members of the largest party or coalition of parties in the Assembly elect, from among themselves, the Leader of Majority Party.

The Majority Party Leader spearheads the legislative agenda of the largest party or coalition of parties in the Assembly.

The Leader of Majority is also the link between the County Executive and County Assembly.

The Deputy Majority Leader performs the functions of the Majority Leader in their absence. The party or coalition of parties with majority members in the Assembly elects, from among themselves, the Deputy Majority Leader.

The Minority Party Leader

The office of the Leader of Minority Party (and deputy Minority Party Leader) is under Section 10 (1) of the County Governments Act 2012.

The leader of the minority party leads the second largest party or coalition of parties in the County Assembly.

He or she is the lead speaker for the minority party during floor debates.

The members of the second largest party or coalition of parties in the Assembly elect, from among themselves, the Leader of Minority Party.

The Minority Party Leader spearheads the legislative agenda of the second largest party or coalition of parties in the Assembly.

The party or coalition of parties with the second largest number of members in the Assembly elects, from among themselves, the Deputy Minority Leader. He or she performs the functions of the Minority Leader in their absence.

Majority Chief Whip

Each county’s Standing Orders may provide for the office of the Majority Party Whip (and Deputy Majority Party Whip).

The permanent written rules under which the County Assembly regulates its proceedings are the Standing Orders. They are perpetual and remain in effect until the Assembly decides to suspend, change or repeal them.

The members of the largest party or coalition of parties in the Assembly elect the Majority Party Whip from among themselves.

He or she performs the functions of the office of the Leader of the Majority Party in the absence of both the Leader of the Majority Party and the Deputy Leader of the Majority Party.

They also:

  • Assist in floor debates,
  • Ensure members’ attendance, count votes, generally communicate to members positions of their respective parties.

The Deputy Majority Chief Whip performs the functions of the Majority Chief Whip in their absence. The party or coalition of parties with majority members in the Assembly elects the Deputy Majority Chief Whip from among themselves.

Minority Chief Whip

Each county’s Standing Orders may provide for the office of the Minority Party Whip (and Deputy Minority Party Whip).

The members from the second largest party or coalition of parties in the Assembly elects the Minority Party Whip from among themselves.

He or she performs the functions of the office of the Leader of the Minority Party in the absence of both the Leader of the Minority Party and the Deputy Leader of the Minority Party.

The Deputy Minority Chief Whip performs the functions of the Minority Chief Whip in their absence. The party or coalition of parties with the second largest number of members in the Assembly elects the Deputy Minority Chief Whip from among its members.

Do you have any comments or questions about the leadership of the County Assembly in Kenya? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Meet The Author

George Githinji
Githinji comments on the current political and social issues in Kenya. He's passionate about devolved governance and public finance. He also manages the @UgatuziKenya twitter platform.

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