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December 11, 2018

Jubilee MP drafts Bill to create PM position, one term presidency

Tiaty MP Kassait Kamket who has proposed the creation of a prime minister's post. /FILE
Tiaty MP Kassait Kamket who has proposed the creation of a prime minister's post. /FILE

Tiaty MP Kassait Kamket has drafted a new Bill to amend the Constitution and create the position of Prime Minister.

The MP is expected to on Wednesday appear before the Budget and Appropriations Committee chaired by Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung'wa to look into the implication of the proposal.

In the Bill, the Jubilee MP wants the PM to have executive powers and be the leader of government business. He says the proposed post is to be filled by an elected MP.

"...to amend the Constitution which will allow Parliament to provide for the position of Prime Minister, leader of the Opposition, and members of the shadow Cabinet," he said.

Kenya has had two Prime Ministers - at independence and during the Grand Coalition Government which was negotiated after the 207 post-election violence.

Kamket also proposes that the President should have ceremonial powers serving a single seven-year term.

"The Bill seeks to amend the constitution to limit the president to a ceremonial role of Head of State and a symbol of national unity,"

According to the Bill, the President is to be elected in a joint sitting of Parliament convened on the first Thursday of December every seventh year.

The Bill notes that the President should not hold any elective or appointive office with political parties. 

The former Baringo County Assembly Speaker also proposes a deletion of Article 132 of the Constitution that seeks to reduce the functions of the President.

"It is proposed that a candidate for election as President has attained the age of 50 years and he or she should not hold any political party post," the Bill reads in part.

The Bill also proposes that the Deputy President post should be scrapped.

"The Bill seeks to delete references to the deputy president," it read.

The Bill proposes the reintroduction of the leader of the Opposition and that the cabinet secretaries should also originate from Parliament.

Kamket proposes county assemblies to elect two senators each of the opposite gender.

There have been earlier attempts to expand government and or rather reduce the concentration of state power around the presidency.

In October last year, NCCK proposed an expansion of the executive to allow the president appoint a Prime Minister, two deputies and official leader of the opposition for inclusivity in government.

Canon Peter Karanja said the premier and the two deputies will sit in the Cabinet and answer questions in Parliament.

Karanja said the creation of the official opposition will dignify the opposition in its bid to hold the government of the day to account.

He said this will further provide room for more people to be involved in the running of government affairs.

More on this: NCCK proposes creation of Prime Minister, opposition leader posts

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