Religious forum backs executive president

December 16, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 16 – The Ufungamano Multi-Sectoral Forum said on Wednesday it too supports an Executive President who shall be elected directly by the people.

At a press conference, the forum’s Co-Chair Rashmin Chitnis said they will be presenting their report to the Committee of Experts proposing an Executive President who shall be both the Head of State and government.

“The President be elected directly by the people with a threshold of 50 percent plus one and 25 percent in at least half of all the counties,” they said and added that: “He/she will be both the Head of State and Government.”

They are proposing that: “The President resigns his position as an MP upon being elected as President.”

Other major proposals contained in their report which they planned to present to the Committee of Experts is measures which should be put in place to ensure the President’s powers are thoroughly checked as follows:

•           An independent Parliament that is not subservient to the Executive;

•           A strong and independent Judiciary appointed through a publicly accepted vetting process;

•           A viable impeachment procedure;

•           Parliamentary approval on appointments of constitutional office holders;

•           Granting security of tenure to holders of key constitutional offices.

Vice President

They are also proposing that the Vice President be the running mate and the Principal Assistant to the President.

The Vice President, they said, should be the one to succeed the President in case of death, incapacitation or impeachment.

“We are also proposing that the Vice President be the Speaker of the Senate,” another of the forum’s official Rev Dr Willy Mutiso who is also the Secretary General of the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya said.

The Prime Minister

Rev Dr Mutiso said they would propose to the Committee of Experts to have provisions where the Prime Minister will be appointed by the President and approved by Parliament.

The holder of that office, they said, shall supervise and co-ordinate the functions of Government and will be the leader of government business in Parliament.

On matters Executive, the forum supported the proposal in the Harmonised Draft which provides for the number of Cabinet to be not more than 20 Ministers.

It will be composed of the President, Vice President, Prime Minister, Ministers and Deputy Ministers who will be appointed by the President in consultation with the PM.

The forum proposes that members of the Cabinet be appointed from amongst professionals outside parliament but subject to the House approval.

“And in the event an MP is appointed as a cabinet Minister, he or she should then resign his or her position from Parliament,” the forum members said.

They are further proposing for only one level of devolution below the national government to ensure a lean government and cater for development expenditure (at least 40 percent of national budget). 

“Powers should therefore be delegated to other institutions below the devolved unit and leaders of the devolved governments (counties, senate) must all be elected directly by the people,” they said.


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