Raila calls out Ruto over plans to amend Constitution

Azimio leader Raila Odinga. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Azimio leader Raila Odinga has called out President William Ruto for appropriating proposals from the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) as his own in the push to amend the Constitution.

Raila on his Twitter handle argued that through making such proposals, Ruto falls foul of the same demands he made and used to challenge the BBI.

Raila said that during the BBI process President Ruto argued that a president cannot initiate constitutional amendments, yet this is what he (Ruto) is currently doing.

“Had Mr Ruto been honest on BBI, everything he has suggested in his memorandum would be law today. However, they can't be presented as he has done nor processed through the procedure he is prescribing. He must comply with the same imperatives that he demanded during BBI,” tweeted the Azimio leader.

In a memorandum dated December 9, and addressed to the Speakers of Parliament, Ruto proposed amendments to the Constitution.

He proposes that Parliament amends Chapter 9 of the Constitution to institute the office of the Official Leader of the Opposition and have functions of the office provided by subsequent laws enacted by the National Assembly.

To address the contentious issue of gender equity, Ruto wants Parliament to amend the Constitution to develop a formula that will guide the computation of the gender ratio in the House.

The President is also seeking to anchor the National Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) in the law.

He argues that the parliamentary route will not be a source of division among the electorate who recently came from the General Election.

According to the law, a referendum can be done through a popular initiative where the general suggestion or formulated draft Bill is backed by at least one million signatures from registered voters. It can also be done through the parliamentary system which is normally two-thronged – one leading to a referendum and another going through both houses of parliament and finally assented by the president.

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