Kenyan leaders agree on power sharing

December 10, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 10 – The Coalition Management Committee is now proposing that the new Constitution provides for a hybrid system of government similar to the current arrangement.

Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo said on Thursday that the team had resolved that the two principals should share executive power which will be clearly set out in the Constitution. Mr 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 diffused concerns of a clash between the two offices over power, especially in the event that the two come from different political parties.

“We are going to specifically say in the Constitution what each of the two will be expected to do in their capacity,” he said.

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

“We are going to give him the necessary authority to discharge his function from that perspective. What we have today (power sharing agreement) is hybrid,” he said.

Mr Kilonzo said that further, the President would no longer be a Member of Parliament. The Premier is expected to be 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.’ Mr Kilonzo however assured that the team was not in any way fighting.

“This consensus building business is meant to supplement the legal process by the CoE because there is also a political process to Constitution making. It is not in any way meant to divert the work of experts,” he said.

“When we speak in one voice as a coalition that voice will have meaning in many other forums.”

The team of 10 Ministers together with the President and Prime Minister is the mechanism of resolving disputes in the coalition government and dealing with all other matters that may arise in from the political marriage.


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