Cracks over timing of referendum as Ruto allies scheme to upstage rivals
1 months ago, 14 Oct 00:06
A political clash looms between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy President William Ruto over the anticipated constitutional referendum.
With NASA leader Raila Odinga in the picture, no one is sitting pretty as the push for the plebiscite gathers momentum.
As Kenyatta and Raila look to the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) to push the drive to the periphery of the President’s term, Ruto is desiring a mid-term plebiscite to secure his position ahead of the succession election in 2022.
The timing of the referendum reportedly triggered Ruto to join the debate.
Also the clamour for the constitutional referendum is sending shivers in Ruto’s camps following revelations that President Kenyatta could “bounce” back in a new political arrangement.
Afraid of getting it wrong on timing as well as proposed amendments, the DP’s allies have coalesced into a think-tank to create a safe operating environment for him. Aldai MP Cornelly Serem, who is in the political wing of the think-tank told the Sunday Standard that they will start meeting next week to look at the referendum debate from all angles.
After last week’s pronouncement by Ruto that he will support the referendum, his allies rallied behind him but took an about-turn after he slammed brakes on the debate in Kakamega on Friday.
“We will start meeting next week as like-minded leaders and start critiquing the 2010 Constitution, we want to ensure the deliberations make to the final resolutions that will form questions in the referendum if it comes to pass,” said Serem.
According to Serem, the group will include some MPs, senators and selected leaders and technocrats from different fields based on their competencies. “We want to ensure only pro-people laws are passed, wage bill brought by over representations will be one of our main focus,” he said.
He added: “We are also looking at suggesting an age limit of 70 for presidential candidates and a rotational presidency among other radical measures.”
Among the fears Ruto’s side have is the Raila factor in the referendum. They are afraid the unity pact between the NASA leader and the President could disfranchise the DP. Ruto has publicly claimed that Raila wants to kick him out of the Jubilee succession equation.
“Once the Executive is expanded and which was the initial concept we had at the time of independence, you can still have Kenyatta as an executive prime minister, or a ceremonial president,” said political analyst Mutahi Ngunyi in an interview with the Sunday Standard.
After the handshake between Kenyatta and and Raila on March 9th, the BBI was tasked to look into the nine point agreement between the two leaders. The BBI team was given a year’s mandate and is expected to present a report that according to Raila will form the basis of a referendum.
Senate Justice and legal affairs committee chair and Nandi Senator Kiprotich Cherargei said they have picked all the drafts and will start going through them.
“We have the Kilifi, Bomas, Naivasha (Wako) draft, the current and old Constitution which they will use as reference points as they ...
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