Inside Politics

Petition filed in Parliament to introduce offices of Prime Minister, Official Leader of Opposition

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2022 17:31 | By
Parliament building.
Parliament building. PHOTO/Courtesy.

A petition was on Wednesday, November 23, filed before the National Assembly seeking to introduce the offices of the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and the Official Leader of Opposition.

The petition filed by Victor Okul proposes the amendment of the Constitution to introduce the offices on grounds that the current "winner takes it all" system is regressive.

"The petitioner is convinced that what he terms as "Winner take it all" system is regressive particularly in light of the fact that the office of prime minister, D. Prime Minister and Leader of opposition were part of the changes various Kenyans had proposed to the draft constitution," a communication from the office of the Speaker read in part.

Okul claims the current system is to blame for the divisive presidential elections that have been witnessed in the country since the promulgation of the 2010 Constitution.

He observes that various initiatives and public discourse to introduce the said offices through the mechanisms provided for under article 257 of the constitution have not been fruitful.

The Speaker committed the petition to the Public Petitions Committee for consideration.

The committee is expected to table its report before the House for debate and further action.

Notably, the proposals were part of the recommendations in the failed Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2020, a product of the political truce between retired President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga.

The Supreme Court declared BBI unconstitutional on March 31 following an appeal lodged by the BBI Secretariat and then-Attorney General Kihara Kariuki.

Five out of seven judges of the Supreme Court ruled that the President could not lead a popular initiative to amend the Constitution.

The five judges observed that a popular initiative is a preserve of the ordinary citizens, popularly known as 'Wanjiku'.

"Consequently, under Article 257 of the constitution, the Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2020 is unconstitutional, ” Chief Justice Martha Koome said, dealing BBI a death blow.

BBI sought, among others, to expand the Executive and introduce the office of the Prime Minister and two deputies as part of what the "handshake" brothers termed as efforts to solve historical injustices bedevilling the country.

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