Lobby seeks to block ODM leader Raila Odinga in 2017
By Abigael Sum
A lobby group has launched a change-the-constitution campaign that could block former Prime Minister Raila Odinga from the next presidential elections.
In the proposed amendments, the National Movement for Democracy Advancement (NMDA) wants all the heads of the three arms of government namely the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary to retire at the age of 70.
If the proposal is adopted, it would mean that Raila, who is highly expected to take another shot on the presidency in 2017, will not be eligible to vie as he will be 72 years old.
“This is a call for harmonisation of the Constitution because it is unfair to have only the head of the Judiciary retiring at the age of 70 and exclude the President and the Speaker,” said Njiru Kimaru, NMDA Convener.
He added: “This not to discriminate anyone from contesting the presidency but there should be an age limit because there is no rationale for them not to retire at the same time. The public service has an age limit; it is only logical for the Executive and the Legislature to have an age limit as well.”
The lobby group states that since over 70 per cent of Kenya’s population fall in the youth bracket, the presidency should reflect the age group of the majority.
NMDA are calling for an amendment to have a one 10-year presidential term to allow for uninterrupted running of government and development and protect Kenya from the constant campaign mode.
The group also wants the decision to withdraw from the Rome Statute be subjected to a referendum.
The group said the referendum should covers other emerging issues arising out of challenges met during the implementation of the Constitution.
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Lobby group NMDA Referendum