Leader of Opposition can have real impact

In Summary

• President Ruto has again proposed the creation of an official Leader of the Opposition

• Some politicians have warned that the office could weaken rather than  strengthen the opposition.

On Sunday in church, President William Ruto said he supported the creation of an office of the Leader of the Opposition, for which a bill has already been submitted by an opposition MP.

However the idea is opposed by politician Ekuru Aukot among others including Azimio leader Raila Odinga who is lukewarm.

Ruto argues that street demos do not solve anything and it is his job as President to maintain law and order.

Aukot's argument that the 2010 Constitution should not be amended does not hold water – by that argument, he would oppose the 13th Amendment to the US constitution which in 1865 abolished slavery. 

So the question is how to recognise and empower the opposition without emasculating it.

Creating a Leader of the Opposition will give a platform to the holder to publicly criticise government and soften the winner-takes-all system of presidential elections as the loser will still enjoy high office.

At the end of the day, the impact of the office of Leader of the Opposition will depend on the individual. A weak politician may indeed become a toothless puppet but a strong one can become a real brake on government excesses.

Quote of the day: "Nothing is too wonderful to be true, if it be consistent with the laws of nature."

Michael Faraday
The English scientist
discovered electromagnetic induction on  August 29, 1831

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