Push to alter President’s term, slash number of MPs near House debate

New push to slash number of MPs to 147 [Photos courtesy]
MPs could by August vote to slash their numbers from the current 412 to 147 as well as alter the President’s term from the current two five-year terms to a single seven-year term.

This is after the Thirdway Alliance submitted the Punguza Mzigo (Constitution of Kenya Amendment Bill, 2019) alongside 1.4 million signatures to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

There are also other parallel processes to amend the Constitution going on, including a Parliamentary initiative by Tiaty MP William Kamket.

The Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) formed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga is also going round the country collecting views in a process that will culminate in a referendum.

Should IEBC verify the 1.4 million signatures submitted by the Ekuru Aukot team, it would have to submit the Bill to the 47 county assemblies by next month.

The Bill was submitted in February 2018, giving IEBC up to end of next month to verify that the initiative is supported by at least one million registered voters.

And should at least 24 assemblies approve the Bill within three months – by August – the stage will be set for both the National Assembly and the Senate to either approve or reject it.

The Bill would be ready for the President’s assent if it gets the backing of the majority of the members of both Houses.

It would, however, be submitted to the people for a referendum should it fail to get Parliament’s approval.

Aukot is already dangling carrots to the assemblies by proposing an increase to county revenue share allocation from 15 per cent to at least 35 per cent.

The initiative is also seeking to use each of the 1450 wards in Kenya as the primary unit of accelerated development replacing Constituency Development Fund.

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President’s termThirdway AllianceConstitution of Kenya Amendment Bill