, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 14 – The Grand Coalition Management Committee met on Thursday afternoon to discuss the contentious system of governance in the revised draft constitution.
Chaired by President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga, the meeting mandated its members who also sit in the Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitution review to ensure this weekend’s scheduled retreat in Naivasha reaches consensus on the issue.
“The two principals have mandated their respective teams to ensure that the negotiations are conclusive because Kenyans have waited for a new constitution for too long,” said a joint communiqué issued by President Kibaki and Mr Odinga after the Harambee House meeting.
“Today’s meeting has yielded substantial progress on some of the major contentions issues but finer details will be sorted out by the PSC in the Naivasha retreat,” the statement added.
The meeting was preceded by another chaired by President Kibaki with the PNU members of the Coalition Management Committee.
Both parties (PNU and ODM) have differed sharply over the system of governance, with the former championing a pure presidential model, while ODM is pushing for a pure parliamentary system.
The draft constitution provides for a hybrid of the two systems after what the Committee of Experts in Constitutional Review termed as divisions “right down the middle” among Kenyans who preferred either of the models.
The PSC now has the mandate of discussing the draft and making its proposals to the experts.
“The coalition partners assure all Kenyans that they are committed and optimistic that the constitution review process will be finalized in due course for the benefit of all Kenyans,” the President-PM statement said.
Meanwhile, the two principals announced that “The coalition partners have also agreed that the Prime Minister will (on Friday) lead the tree planting ceremony at the Mau and all wananchi are invited and encouraged to attend.”