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Raila, Karua to take up House leadership roles in new proposal

 Azimio la Umoja leaders Raila Odinga and Martha Karua during a past presser. [Jenipher Wachie, Standard]

President William Ruto has hatched a new plan which if implemented will see opposition leader Raila Odinga and his last year's running mate Martha Karua assume leadership roles in Parliament.

Raila and his Narc-Kenya counterpart Karua could be headed to the National Assembly and the Senate respectively for the minority leadership positions, should a proposal by Attorney General Justin Muturi be implemented by the House.

Muturi, who made the proposal Thursday, said it was possible to create the plum positions by amending the Constitution without having a referendum.

"We can tinker a bit with Article 108 to have the person who comes second in the presidential poll to become the minority leader in the National Assembly, and running mate, the minority leader in the Senate," he said.

The former National Assembly speaker noted that the positions of Raila and Karua would be funded by the Public Service Commission in a move that would see the National Assembly membership move to 350 from 349 and Senate 69 from 68.

"The offices of the Majority Leader and Minority Leader are heavily facilitated by the Parliamentary Service Commission. The second in the last General Election can take the minority leadership in both houses, the number will increase to 68 in the Senate and 350 in the National Assembly," said the AG.

Ruto in December forwarded a memorandum to both Houses of Parliament urging the MPs to legislate and amend Chapter 9 of the Constitution to create an office of the official leader of the opposition.

Ruto argued that this would not only keep his administration in check, but would also institutionalise governance, strengthen oversight, and deepen democracy in Kenya. A referendum would, however, have to take place for the changes to be enacted.

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