More burden for Kenyans: BBI Recommends Prime Minister’s Post

More burden for Kenyans: BBI Recommends Prime Minister’s Post

More burden for Kenyans: BBI Recommends Prime Minister’s PostThe Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report is finally out, with far-reaching recommendations that include the creation of the Prime Minister’s position.

This is the main recommedation in the report that is likely to dominate the political arena fuelled by the apparent differences pitting President Uhuru Kenyatta and his handshake partner Raila Odinga on one side and Deputy President William Ruto on the other.

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Ruto did not attend the launch that took place at the Kisii State Lodge, a day after he called for a national conversation on the contents of the report.

“The BBI report is not about creating a Prime Minister’s position or president for anyone,” said President Kenyatta when he received the report in Kisii State Lodge on Wednesday, “this report is about Kenyans.”

Odinga too appeared to defend the proposal in the report saying, “this report and recommendations in it are not about Uhuru Kenyatta or myself.”

Chapter Eight of the BBI report on the Legislature, the Senator Yusuf Haji-led Task Force recommends the creation of the Prime Minister’s position, two Deputies, Cabinet Ministers, the Attorney General and the Leader of Official Opposition, being the person who was the runner-up in the presidential election.

“This recommendation therefore, proposes the introduction of the Office of the Prime Minister and Two Deputy Prime Ministers,” the report states, explaining that expanding the executive will help tame the winner-takes it all approach that is to blame for perennial violence after every electioneering period.

The Hybrid system of government borrows from the Presidential and Parliamentary systems.

Kenyatta and Odinga explained that the expanded Executive will help end the cut-throat competition for the Presidency and other elective political seats.

“Lack of inclusivity is the leading contributor to divisive and conflict-causing elections. Kenyans associate the winner-take-all system with divisive elections and want an end to it. Stakeholders engaging with the Steering Committee affirmed these findings and reiterated that Kenya is yet to attain consistent and satisfactory levels of electoral tranquility,” reads a section of the detailed report, with 12 thematic areas.

The release of the report which will be launched formaly at the Bomas of Kenya on Monday sets the stage for a national referendum, just two years before the main election set for 2022.

If adopted, the President will be required to appoint a Member of Parliament from the largest party or coalition in the National Assembly to be a Prime Minister.

And to avoid creating two conflicting centers of power like it was the case in 2008 between President Mwai Kibaki and Orange Democratic Movement leader, the report said the Prime Minister should have his roles well defined.

To cater for the losing side, the report recommends the establishment of a position of the office of Leader of the Opposition with a shadow cabinet.

But this can not be achieved, the report points out, if the integrity of the election is wanting- including in party primaries and nominations.

Further, the report wants political parties compelled through the Political Parties Act to be consistent with the Constitution to meet the Gender Rule and other Constitutional measures of inclusion through their party lists.

“This will equalize both genders in political terms, rather than creating a parallel system that creates a sense of tokenism,” reads the report.

Other key recommendations include the need for the review of campaign financing laws to regulate the amount and sources of funds to be used during elections and introduce recall clauses to instill party discipline.

President Kenyatta and the former Prime Minister have urged Kenyans to read the report and make recommendations that will make it better.




More burden for Kenyans: BBI Recommends Prime Minister’s Post

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