ODM wants President elected to serve 7-year term, creation of PM and regional posts

Building Bridges Committee Chairman Yusuf Haji speaks during the citizen engagement forum at Machakos University. [John Muia/Standard]

A seven-year non-renewable presidential term is among proposals Raila Odinga's party will be making to the Building Bridges Initiative.

In the draft copy of its proposals to the task-force headed by Garisssa Senator Yussuf Haji, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) is also proposing a parliamentary system of government.

In its submissions to the task-force mandated to collect views from the public on ways of enhancing national unity, the party has also called for creation of more executive positions.

The task-force was formed following a handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila at Harambee House in Nairobi on March 9, ending animosity resulting from last year's elections.

The team has been going around the country collecting views from individuals and groups on what should be done to ensure the country remains peaceful.

ODM, through its technical committee, said the seven-year non-renewable term would take focus away from the presidency, which it said had become the trophy for ethnic competition.

The Orange party is calling for restructuring of the Executive to re-introduce a parliamentary system and have a president elected by a college of legislatures. They have also called for the creation of the Prime Minister’s post.

ODM wants Parliament restructured to strengthen Senate as the Upper House. It also wants the Senate to have 29 members-at least two per region-plus the Speaker.

The party is also calling for abolition of nominated senators and reduction of the size of the National Assembly from current 349 to 180 of MPs.

"New executive positions of regional premier and deputy regional premier should be created in addition to establishment of regional public service boards. There should also be elected county police chiefs and regional ombudsman," the draft says.

To deal with electoral fraud, ODM has proposed devolution of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and adoption of full electronic voting.

The party wants commissioners to be nominated by political parties in respective regions. The Kriegler report on causes of election malpractices should also be implemented fully, ODM says. The party is calling for the full implementation of Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) and Justice Phillip Waki reports as well as strengthening of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC).

Procurement policies

It also wants recruitment and procurement policies of IEBC adopted after stakeholder input and continuous registration of voters. "The IEBC Act should also be amended to establish national and regional commissions, limit election petitions to one petition, save for presidential election, which should end at the Supreme Court," the draft says.

The party is proposing that election petitions arising from county/regional assemblies be handled by the High Court.

ODM wants establishment of national and regional electoral commissions, whose members are nominated by political parties and commissioners to work on part-time.

The party also wants the chairmanship of IEBC at national and regional levels made rotational. 

ODM has also proposed repealing of County Governments Act 2012, to be replaced with Devolved Governments Act and Regional Public Service Boards Act enacted.

They want introduction of 14 regional governments, as per the Bomas Draft, and creation of regional assemblies comprising all members of county assemblies in each region.