Watching news on the Speaker’s ruling on the amendments to the Political Parties Bill, one could get a feeling that some of the journalists are either obsessed with the phrase party-hopping or do not care to read the Constitution.
There is a misplaced notion that the amendments pushed through by the G7 grouping which allow political parties to put together pre-election coalitions will aid in Kenyan MPs culture of party-hopping.
Even if this was the intention of the MPs, it was a short-sighted move as it is practically impossible for them to use the Coalitions as a platform for them to jump from one party to another.
While the Coalitions will give the MPs the safety of numbers while in the House, they will not insulate them from losing their seats. The Constitution recognises that one is an MP either through party or independent candidature.
This means that if an MP defect from their mother party, they will automatically lose their parliamentary seat even if their party is in a Coalition.
The Pre-Coalitions, though misplaced in a Presidential system like Kenya’s, can only be used to help a group of politicians with diverse nterests get into power.
At the end of it all, party-hopping is a thing of the past in Kenya.