Chaos in Kenyan parliament over anti-terror bill

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SHAFAQNA – Kenya’s opposition lawmakers disrupted parliamentary proceedings Thursday as a debate for a new anti-terror law kicked off in a special sitting in Nairobi. Chaos broke out inside the Kenyan parliament after an opposition legislator grabbed order papers and trashed these while singing Swahili songs meaning the struggle was still on, Xinhua reported.

The chaos and heckling by the opposition legislators forced Speaker Justin Muturi to adjourn parliament sitting on the controversial security bill for 30 minutes.

The opposition lawmakers had earlier urged the speaker in vain to allow them more time to scrutinise some of the amendments which had been tabled before the house.

“We urge you (speaker) to allow us some more time so that we can go through some of the amendments which were made Wednesday night before we can pass the Security Bill. We should try to reach consensus (rather) than pass the Bill when we are divided. Why is the hurry,” opposition lawmaker Tom Kajwang said in parliament.

However, the speaker ruled out any debate on the proposed law and ordered that proceedings continue, sparking chaos in the House.

Dec 11, the government sent to the parliament the Security Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2014 which contains a wide array of amendments to 21 laws and could be adopted by parliament Thursday.

The East African nation has been facing increasing attacks targeting civilians since Oct 2011, when its troops entered Somalia in the context of military operations against the Al Shabaab.

The response of the Kenyan security forces to these attacks has been to conduct operations that have resulted in numerous human rights violations in Nairobi, on the coast, and in the North Eastern province bordering Somalia.

Source : Nairobi, Dec 18 (IANS)

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