By LILLIAN ALUANGA-DELVAUX
The legislation is considered one of two major hurdles that faced MPs and other aspirants hoping to take part in the General Election in March 2013.
The other was the initial scare of strict electoral timelines designed to curb last- minute defections. With loyalty to parties breached, exposing scores of MPs to sanctions, the House rewrote electoral laws to legitimise party hopping.
Those intending to switch parties can now do so as close as 60 days to the elections.
Having eased that blockade, there are fears of another conspiracy to lower the integrity threshold anticipated for public office holders.
Already, the draft Leadership and Integrity Bill, described as the most critical legislation after passage of the Constitution, has sparked a controversy amid claims it does not reflect the spirit of constitutional provisions on the matter.
Even before the draft law is enacted, a court case challenging the eligibility of International Criminal Court accused to contest the presidency highlights the high stakes involved.
Civil society groups have pressed for the integrity bar to be raised higher to lock out anyone facing criminal charges or adversely mentioned in probe reports. But that is expected to face resistance in a Parliament where most members are in trouble with the law.
Parliament reopens on July 31 with the Bill that has generated controversy expected to top the agenda.
The Constitution requires the Bill be passed into law by August 27. Scores of MPs face court cases, which are in various stages, and which some fear might not be concluded on time before nominations scheduled in about six months.
For an aspirant to be cleared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission they would be required to obtain clearance certificates from vetting agencies, including the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.
A red flag has been raised over ambiguities in the current draft Bill that may make it difficult to bar legislators battling charges in court from seeking elective positions.