Kenya MPs want direct vote for CEO

November 19, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya Nov 19- A section of Members of Parliament from Central Kenya now say they will push for amendments to the draft Constitution to ensure the person wielding executive power is directly elected by the people.

Speaking after a three-hour meeting in Nairobi, Central Kenya Parliamentians group chairman Ephrahim Maina said they were opposed to a President or Prime Minister exercising executive authority without the direct mandate of Kenyans.

“Whoever is the CEO – and this is the understanding anywhere in the world – whoever is in charge of a government must be the person given mandate by the ordinary people.  So we wish to see that basic human right kept in our Constitution whatever system we adopt.”

The group said it would reach out to other parties to ensure consensus on the issue so that the review process is not derailed.

The Mathira MP however described the document as “a good and progressive document.”

“We have just started discussing the document.  As we get to more details we will come across (contentious) sections and engage each other but otherwise, the document is pro-reform and we are pro-reform,” he said.

The party said it does not matter to them whether the person exercising executive authority enjoyed the title of President or Prime Minister, so long as he or she was directly elected by Kenyans.

At the same time, another section of Central Kenya MPs demanded that the review of constituency boundaries precede the adoption of a new Constitution.

Embakasi MP Ferdinand Waititu said the issue of boundaries should be entrenched in the Constitution.

“We are therefore insisting that the Andrew Ligale Boundaries Commission to complete it work first so that the constituencies can be part of the Constitution.  We are therefore insisting no constituencies, no Katiba and we insist one man one vote must be considered,” he said.

His Nithi counterpart Kareke Mbiuki said if a new Consitution was enacted before the boundaries review process was complete, it was unlikely that constituency boundaries would be revised later.

He said: “We can’t adopt a parliamentary system of government with the number of constituencies because they are skewed to one side.  That is why we are categorical on this.”

The MPs have been vocal demanding more constituencies in their region claiming that their areas are densely populated. But MPs from North Eastern and Coast provinces have been calling for the use of the "one-kilometre, one-vote" formula.

Currently Kenya has 210 constituencies and the Interim Independent Boundary Review Commission is mandated to review both administrative and electoral boundaries.


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