- Kenya parliament has returned the post election Tribunal Bill which seeks to establish a special court in the country to try perpetrators of the 2007 post election violence. The vote came after weeks of debate and lobbying by those supporting the Bill on one hand and those against it on the other.
A total of 93 members of parliament voted against the bill out of the 195 MPs in Parliament. The Bill received only 101 votes, well below the required number of 145 members to amend the constitution. In total there are 222 MPs.
The Commission of Inquiry into the Post-Election Violence chaired by Judge Philip Waki had given the government up to 1 March to have the special tribunal up and running.
However MPs have cast aside the bill saying they did not have faith in Kenya’s justice system and that those involved in the violence should be tried at The Hague. The rejection of the bill means that the commission can now hand over the list of alleged perpetrators to an international court for investigation and trial.
Last Thursday, a vote on the amendments was re-scheduled due to a lack of quorum in parliament. According to Kenya's parliament procedures, a vote cannot be held on a constitutional Bill unless at least 145 MPs are present. On Tuesday, the Bill was removed from the list of issues to be debated to give the government time to marshal support.
President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga who fought for the bill in parliament including intensive lobbying, have expressed disappointed by the MPs vote.
"This is a setback in the war against impunity and injustice, the government will take stock and move forward," a clearly disappointed Mr Odinga told reporters.
Post election clashes in Kenya broke out after Mr Odinga said the results of the December 2007 election had been rigged in favour of the president. After weeks of talks led by Mr Annan, in February 2008 the rivals agreed to share power to bring an end to the violence.
Some 1,333 were killed and more than 600,000 displaced after the presidential election. Mobs looted and torched businesses in many parts of the country, also blocking main roads with burnt trucks, a move which hit hard on the country’s economy.
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