UDA politicians who openly support removal of presidential term limits
More and more politicians allied with the ruling United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party are coming out to support the idea of amending the constitution to remove the two-term presidential term limit.
The two-term 10-year limit was introduced ahead of the 1992 elections following the repeal of section 2A of the old constitution. The limit was also retained by the drafters of the 2010 Constitution.
The idea of removing the two-term presidential limit was first mooted by Fafi Member of Parliament (MP) Salah Yakub.
Yakub, a UDA party member, proposed the removal of the 10-year limit and instead said the age limit for contesting for the presidency capped at 75 years.
The MP claimed that some of his colleagues in the UDA party were working on a Bill to amend the current law and replace the two-term limit with an age limit of 75 years.
He alluded that President William Ruto, 55, should be given more years to govern if he performs well.
“We want to tell Kenyans that the limit on two terms should be relooked. We want it to be changed to an age limit where when one gets to 75 years then he or she cannot contest," the MP was quoted as saying.
“We will come up with an amendment Bill to try to change this because we want the requirement to be on age limit and not terms. If a president is doing a good job, then he or she should not be limited by the terms,” he added.
Without revealing names, the lawmaker alleged the MPs behind the plot to amend the constitution, have been holding closed-door meetings to deliberate on the proposal.
Yakub's idea of scrapping of the presidential term limits sparked an uproar as various legislators came out to give their opinions on the matter.
UDA, in a statement on Tuesday, November 8, dismissed Yakub's comments as a 'product of a fertile imagination by the legislator'.
The Fafi MP, however, indicated he wouldn't back down on his proposal despite a firestorm of backlash.
Yakub, while speaking to the media, stated that the presidential term limit debate is viable and that Kenyans should be ready for it either now or in the near future.
Nandi Senator Kiprotich Arap Cherargei came out to support Yakub's proposal to change the constitution to remove the two-term presidential term limit.
In a tweet, Cherargei insisted that the Fafi MP was within his rights to propose the amendment of the term limits.
"UDA is an epitome of democracy and rule of law. Yakub is within his right to push this amendment. Let's listen first, I shall support it in the Senate," Cherargei said.
Cherargei said the change of presidential term limits might be a discussion that will take place in the future.
"This is a conversation that might happen in future by Kenyans on scrapping of term limit of a President," Cherargei said.
Former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu indicated that the removal of the two-term presidential term limit would only be good if the President was committed to serving the people.
Speaking to The Star, Waititu gave an example of late President Mwai Kibaki whom he said left office with Kenyans hoping for even a few more days to complete his projects.
The former Kiambu governover further noted that had Kibaki been in office longer, Kenya would now be comparable to Singapore.
"Many agree Kibaki served Kenyans well…what if he was allowed to run again, we could have become another Singapore," Waitutu said.
UDA Nominated Senator Karen Nyamu has openly supported the idea of amending the constitution to remove the two-term presidential term limit.
Nyamu expressed support for the removal of the presidential term limit while engaging her fans in an interactive Questions and Answers (Q&A) session on Instagram.
"What's your position on the removal of the presidential term limit in Kenya?" A fan asked Karen Nyamu.
"It is a welcomed conversation. After all, it is Kenyans who will vote to retain you for a third term and beyond. If you don't deliver even the second term under the current constitution hutapata," Nyamu replied.
Nyamu further asserted that President Ruto was a performer.
"Do you really think the current government will deliver? I am really scared and hopeless," a fan asked Nyamu
"100% it will. Our President is a performer," she replied.