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Narok Senator Olekina rejects BBI for giving president too much power

By Sigomba Ramadhan Omar | Nov 28th 2019 | 2 min read

Narok Senator Ledama Olekina: Vesting too much power on the president will not enhance inclusivity. [File, Standard]

Narok Senator Ledama Olekina has rejected the Building Bridges Initiative proposal of the President appointing Prime Minister saying that it won't help enhance inclusivity.

Speaking to Standard's KTN News from the Parliament buildings, Nairobi, Olekina said the premiership position will not address under-representation of certain communities in government.

"The main problem we were trying to solve was the issue of majority of Kenyans feeling excluded by the government but for a President to be the one appointing the PM will still lock us out of government," he said.

The BBI is chiefly aimed at reducing post-election instability and enhance inclusiveness by taming winner-takes-it-all mentality after elections.

But the Narok Senator thinks that would be unattainable if the President is the one mandated to appoint and dismiss the PM.

The BBI report launched on Wednesday at the Bomas of Kenya reported that Kenyans want the President to appoint as Prime Minister from the majority party in the National Assembly.

In cases where no political party has a majority, then the President can appoint as PM the party that appears to have the support of a majority of MPs.

The President also has the powers to dismiss the PM who can also be dismissed through a vote of no confidence in parliament.

It is this presidential control of the office of the Prime Minister that irritates Senator Olekina.

"I object electing a president then you give him absolute powers of appointing the Prime Minister. Let the MPs do the elections because we do not want a situation where the PM is a puppet of the President," he said.

He added that the PM will be acting to please the president for fear of being dismissed.

The Narok senator termed the vesting of such powers on the president as backwardness.

"It is a shame that we are trying to bring change for an inclusive government but you give one person all the powers of appointing his preferred PM at the expense of others," he said.

Olekina added that most of the issues addressed in the BBI report are well known to Kenyans.

According to him, additional laws will not help solve the issue. He would rather Kenya acted on the implementation of existing laws.

"The problems that we were told we have are things we know. It is not laws that we need, but the implementation of the existing laws," he said.

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