- The MP further points out that the current situation where presidential candidates are barred from vying for the MP seat.
- The MP was part of the initial Kenya Kwanza team picked to engage Azimio in the bipartisan talks.
A Kenya Kwanza legislator has opposed the move to create the office of the leader of the Opposition in the current set-up through a constitutional amendment.
Kibwezi West MP Mwengi Mutuse who is a former member of the defunct bipartisan committee has instead proposed that the presidential candidates be allowed to run for the MP seat in a general election as a solution.
In his petition to the National Dialogue Committee, Mutuse said this would help address concerns about the inclusion of Opposition in a presidential system of governance.
“This would enable the genuine leader of the Opposition party or coalition to assume leadership positions within the existing structure as the leader of the minority party,” he said.
He observed that membership in the National Assembly is crucial as it is responsible for overseeing the national government, legislative role, appropriating and oversight the national government.
Mutuse who is the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee vice chairman argues that following the adoption of the new constitution, the term of official Opposition was replaced by the minority party with the leader of government business being taken by the leader of the majority.
The MP further points out that the current situation where presidential candidates are barred from vying for the MP seat has greatly disadvantaged the leaders of Opposition parties in the country.
“They are left without a significant role in the affairs of the state and even worse without an official forum other than public rallies to articulate policies, positions or ideas or hold the government in power accountable,” he avers.
“This diminishes the roles of Opposition and often has led to calls for extra-judicial ways to resolve critical issues affecting the country arguably, for lack of other fora.”
Mutuse was part of the initial Kenya Kwanza team picked to engage Raila Odinga's Azimio la Umoja in the bipartisan talks.
He had been picked alongside Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale, Bomet Senator Hillary Sigei, Nominated Senator Esther Okenyuri, Tharaka MP George Murugara, Kibwezi West MP Mwengi Mutuse, Eldas MP Adan Keynan and Taita Taveta Woman Representative Lydia Haika.
His letter has been addressed to Kalonzo Musyoka and Kimani Ichung’wah who are both the delegation leaders of Azimio and Kenya Kwanza.
It has been copied to the Committee's technical team. The team is set to reconvene on Thursday to agree on "measures of actual engagement".