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BBI proposals will not lead to a referendum – Duale

In Summary

• Duale on Tuesday said from the first impression of the BBI report,  he has faith that Kenya can sort all of the items proposed therein through Constitutional amendments by way of Parliamentary initiative as contemplated under Article 256.

• Kenya will see the return of the position of Prime Minister if the Building Bridges Initiative Taskforce proposals are to be implemented in full.

President Uhuru Kenyatta receives the BBI report from task force chairman Senator Yusuf Haji
President Uhuru Kenyatta receives the BBI report from task force chairman Senator Yusuf Haji
Image: PSCU

National Assembly Majority leader Aden Duale now says the proposals by the Building bridges Initiative will not lead to a referendum.

Duale on Tuesday said from the first impression of the BBI report,  he has faith that Kenya can sort all of the items proposed therein through Constitutional amendments by way of Parliamentary initiative as contemplated under Article 256.

His sentiments came just hours after the much awaited BBI report was officially handed over to President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House Nairobi.

Deputy President William Ruto and Opposition leader Raila Odinga were among those present.

The report will be officially released to the members of the public tomorrow Wednesday at the Bomas of Kenya.

All the MP’s have been notified to attend the event.

“Even though most of us who genuinely desired a Parliamentary system have not achieved it through the BBI, I have strong faith that we can achieve all the proposals contained in the BBI report without a referendum, which will definitely be divisive, with winners and losers,” Duale wrote on his Twitter page.

He said establishment of the position of a Prime Minister appointed by the President with approval of the House for instance is achievable by amending the Constitution without causing a referendum.

He said such persons will definitely face off with the leader of the opposition (Minority Party) in the House on oversight and accountability aspects of Parliament.

"I will make a comprehensive statement once I read the full document," he said.

Kenya will see the return of the position of Prime Minister if the Building Bridges Initiative Task force proposals are to be implemented in full.

The BBI team appeared to make proposals that would lead Kenyans to a referendum with all proposal made likely to come through Bills or policy changes.

The report proposes that Kenyans continue to elect their President who remains the Head of State and government.

The report also says that the Deputy President should remain the principal assistant to the President and will be the running mate.

The President will then appoint an MP from the largest party or coalition in Parliament as Prime Minister who will take up the position after being approved by Parliament.

The report adds that the Prime Minister shall have supervision and execution of the day-to-day functions and affairs of the Government.

"The Prime Minister shall be the Leader of Government Business in the National Assembly. On the President’s tasking, the Prime Minister will chair Cabinet sub-committees," it says.

"The Taskforce has offered advice as per its mandate. BBI does not replace any legal or constitutional body. Its recommendations are just that: recommendations based on listening to Kenyan citizens and experts," the briefing document says.

The BBI proposed that the Prime Minister may be dismissed by the President or through a vote of no confidence in the National Assembly.

Another proposal is that the runner-up in a Presidential election becomes an ex-officio Member of Parliament and the Leader of the Official Opposition.