By Samuel Ouma | @journalist_27
The preparations to amend the Constitution this year are underway if we have to go by the words of the opposition Chief Raila Odinga.
The ODM party leader on Thursday, February 14, hinted that referendum could be held before next year. Speaking at his Capitol Hill office in Nairobi, Odinga challenged the leaders especially those who have not decided on the need for the plebiscite to declare their stand.
“This year is going to be a year of change in this country. We want to look at our governance structures and see what needs to be rectified,” he reiterated.
He is pushing for the expansion of executive to do away with the system in which a winner in presidential election takes it all. Odinga wants the post of Prime Minister and his two deputies to be created to mitigate marginalization of some communities from the country’s leadership. According to the proposed Bill, the Prime Minister will have executive powers and President ceremonial powers. The post of deputy president will be scrapped off.
The former Prime Minister is also advocating for the re-introduction of Parliamentary system. In case the Bill goes through ,the President will be elected in a joint sitting of Parliament every seven years and not through the ballot as it was the case in the past.
In a bid to put to an end post- election violence which is majorly attributed to Presidential results, leaders from both political divide have backed 7-year one term presidency.
“We want a referendum that will create better governance. We want an all-inclusive government where all Kenyans feel a sense of belonging and are proud of their government,” said Governor Kiraitu Murungi.
During his tour at Nyanza region, Odinga’s backyard in December last year, President Uhuru Kenyatta signaled that the country could be heading for a referendum to change the Constitution.
The President reiterated that it is necessary to have a government structure that accommodates election losers to prevent bitterness that trigger post-poll violence.
“We said we must look at this issue of winner takes it all. If that is why some people feel left out of government, we must ask ourselves, ‘is it a good thing or not,” he said.
The call for the amendment of the law may lead to sidelining of the presidential hopeful the deputy president William Ruto. He has vehemently opposed the expansion of the executive and instead he is calling for the opposition to be strengthened.
Delivering his speech at Chatham House in London, Ruto said creation of the position of the Prime Minister will not solve political problems the country is facing.
“I have heard suggestions that the National Executive should be expanded to accommodate a Prime Minister as well as two deputies as a means of addressing the winner take it all challenge. This suggestion has two problems, it does not solve the problem which is that we need a functional, constitutional official opposition and the positions, if created would still be taken by the winning party,” he said.