Strengthen Political Party Systems to encourage Citizen Participation in Governance- Urges Speaker Muturi
The Speaker of the National Assembly has urged political parties to strengthen their systems to as to encourage the participation of the citizenry in governance.
In his speech read on his behalf by Kiambu Town Member of Parliament, Hon. Jude Njomo, during the launch of the strategic plan for the Centre of Multiparty Democracy (CMD), Speaker Muturi noted that political parties are essential institutions of democracy and by competing in elections, they offer the citizenry an opportunity to make a choice on those to govern them, while in the opposition, they keep the government accountable.“Participation of the public in political parties offers unique benefits including platforms to influence policy choices, choose and engage political leaders, and run for office, " Speaker Muturi observed.
He called for vibrant, accountable and inclusive political parties systems that offer the electorate meaningful choices and avenues for political participation, and urged that political parties peer review themselves for purposes of building capacities on good practices and setting standard operating procedures. The Speaker who hitherto being elected Speaker served as a Board Chair of the Centre, further underscored the need for constructive engagement between political parties and other institutions such as the civil society, the media and election management bodies. He also undertook that Parliament would work closely with CMD and other stakeholders to advance the Democratic process as enshrined in the constitution.
On his part, Hon. Njomo urged for magnanimous competition for power within parties during elections, without necessarily pulling the country into disarray. “I look forward to the day we shall hold general elections and the losers and the winners embrace each other and shake hands for they will always be winners and losers since we hold different ideologies", Hon. Njomo said.
Earlier on, the outgoing Board Chair, Hon. Omingo Magara urged MPs present to link the people they represent with CMD as a way of promoting citizen participation in party pluralism. He lauded Speaker Muturi for leaving the Centre on a high note adding that his board had implemented the last strategic plan which was developed under Speaker Muturi's tenure, steering the organisation into an issue based, people centred and high accountable centre to the people.
Present during the launch of the plan which is slated to run through 2023, were several MPs, officials from the office of the Registrar of Political Parties, Political Party officials and Members of the civil society. Kisumu Women Representative Rosa Buyu, received a copy of the Strategic Plan on behalf of the National Assembly, while Nominated Senator, Sen. Petronila Were, received it on behalf of the Senate.