BBI final report wants referendum April next year

BBI final report wants referendum April next year


The building bridges initiative team wants Kenyans to hold a referendum in April next year.In the report, the team wants the office of a prime minister with two deputies. Unlike the current constitution where cabinet secretaries are not members of
parliament, BBI wants cabinet secretaries renamed ministers and be from parliament. The positions of majority leader and minority leaders in parliament are to be scrapped as per BBI proposal. Prime minister will be an MP from the major party which means he will run for a parliamentary seat.The report is silent on whether a nominated MP can hold a position of the powerful PM or deputies.deputy PM are also to be ministers. The president has the powers in PM appointment as the report
states, within seven days of being sworn after presidential polls, he will forward the name of his preferred PM to the national
assembly. For one to land the slot, he or she will need to garner support by more than half of the members. The PM will serve for a maximum of 10 years that is two terms of five years each. BBI report wants the position of the leader of official opposition in parliament back.

The person to hold the office of opposition leader is the candidate who will emerge second in presidential election. Weekly Citizen could not establish if presidential candidates will now run for parliamentary seats as it was with the old constitution. Constitution does not allow presidential candidates to run for parliamentary seats. Going by the BBI report, the presidency which has president and his deputy tops. The PM office is thus subordinate to presidency and is answerable to head of state. The PM duties by virtue of being leader of government business in parliament are legislative in nature. He will not perform duties of presidency even if the head of state is absent. Instead, the deputy president, the principal assistant to the head of state will perform. The position of leader of majority is to be scrapped according to the BBI proposal. The senate powers in the proposal have been enhanced with duties of vetting nominee to Chief Justice position and handling revenue sharing by counties.

Duties of majority leader in parliament are being moved to senate as per BBI report. The PM will oversee running of ministries, government departments and, chair committee meetings with the president’s permission. If one fails to get majority of votes in parliament after being nominated by president, the president will nominate another person. The PM can be fired from office through a proposal by the president to the national assembly and backed by members. Members can also remove PM by one-quarter of all members moving a motion of no confidence and a majority supports the resolution. If the second nominee of the prime minister proposed by the president is not confirmed, the BBI report gives president powers to appoint the prime minister without reference to the national assembly.. Deputy prime ministers are to be picked by the president from among his cabinet ministers. The deputies will report to the PM.

The two, may lose their positions if the president dismisses them, cease to be MPs or resign in writing to the head of state. According to BBI proposal the office of PM is protected unlike that of deputy premiers who can be fired at will by the head of state. It will not be a walk in the park for one to be official leader of opposition. Apart from attaining second highest votes, the holder whose political party or coalition of parties needs to have at least 25pc of MPs in parliament. The new constitution according to BBI final draft report should be in place by October 2021. After receiving the report, the two handshake principals Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga will forward to Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and be subjected to public scrutiny as required by the law. Some of the BBI proposals are to be enacted by parliament with others facing referendum.