Kenya MPs support hybrid governace system

December 12, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 12 – A Parliamentary retreat to build consensus on contentious issues in the draft constitution on Friday resolved to back a hybrid system of governance.

Speaking after the daylong meeting, Garsen legislator Danson Mungatana said they would like the President to choose the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

“Our proposal is informed by the fact that we don’t want to see issues of conflict if they should arise so there should be a very clear hierarchy in structure, we would want to see a Kenya that is stable,” he said.

The MPs also proposed that the Prime Minister should come from the party with majority votes in Parliament.

Participants who included National Heritage Minister William ole Ntimama however failed to agree on the formula in which the two principals will share power and instead deferred it to Monday when they are due to meet again.

“We are trying to set up clear rules so that both their ideas and consultations and their proposals in terms of appointing the Cabinet will be considered and want that to be constitutionally given and stated so that nobody can use the office or abuse it to try and make life difficult for the PM or the President.  In a sense we are going hybrid but in a different version,” Mr Mungatana said.

The MPs opposed the adoption of regional governments and instead called for the adoption of counties which will ruled by County Governors and their Deputies elected directly by Kenyans.

“The current (draft) proposal says that once the wards have elected their representatives then they will sit and elect the governors but we are saying no,” he said.

The legislators also backed the Senate House with 50 MPs with the Vice President as Speaker.

MPs to the Senate will have a 50-50 gender split and should have served in either the public or the private arena for 15 years.

He said they were trying to avoid a situation where that will result in politicians taking hard-line stand based on their politic parties. 

The Coalition Management Committee yesterday proposed that the new Constitution provides for a hybrid system of government similar to the current arrangement.

The team had resolved that the two principals should share executive power which will be clearly set out in the Constitution.

Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Mutula Kilonzo said that the details of the agreement would be worked out by a team of technical experts after which the team would ratify them for presentation to the Committee of Experts for consideration.

The Minister played down concerns of a clash between the two offices over power, especially in the event that the two come from different political parties.

Mr Kilonzo also allayed fears of an elected President being purely ceremonial.

The group of MPs agreed with the team on their proposal that the President would no longer be a Member of Parliament while the Premier is expected to be appointed from the head of the party with a majority of MPs in the House.

The team of 10 Ministers has held a series of meeting this week to seek consensus on the contention of executive powers and other divergent matters. The harmonised draft produced by the Committee of Experts provides for a ceremonial President and a powerful Prime Minister.

While the Orange Democratic Movement is in open support of a pure Parliamentary System, the Party of National Unity wants a powerful President who ‘hails his mandate from the electorate.’


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