, NAIROBI, October 11 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga insists that parliament would be acting within its parameters if it entrenched an age limit to future presidential candidates.
He however maintains that the entrenchment of the clause into the constitution should be tailored for the posterity of the nation rather than to satisfy the short term interest of a few individuals.
Speaking at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport after concluding a six days working tour of France and Nigeria, Mr. Odinga remained non committal over his position on the issue.
“The matter is on the floor of the house and will be discussed by MPs, just like any other issue in Parliament,” he said.
Mr Odinga has previously expressed his opposition on the motion by Igembe South MP Mithika Linturi which seeks to set the maximum age at which one can vie for the presidency at 65. He argued then that political leaders should be elected on their capability to deliver to their electorates.
The PM was responding to questions from journalists upon his return from France where he led a high powered Kenyan delegation to the World Policy Conference.
"The conference which was attended by various heads of states and government, intellectuals, opinion leaders and shapers offered an opportunity for sharing of experiences and ideas on how the world can be transformed to suit mankind better in the wake of global problems, including the recent financial meltdown," he said.
Mr Odinga and Senegalese President Abdullahi Wade presented the African perspective at the foray and gave policy recommendations on possible bailout avenues to reverse trickle effects of the financial crisis at Wall Street.
Mr. Odinga told the conference in its opening session that the solution to the many problems currently afflicting Africa was to support its emerging leadership and their new democratic ideals and principles.
President Wade reminded the conference that the world cannot survive without Africa’s rich resources and warned them to shun the continent at their peril.
It was addressed by a host of eminent personalities, among them Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, Estonian President Toomas Kouchner, his Serbian counterpart Boris Tadic, President of the European Parliament Hans-Gert Pottering and NATO Secretary General Hoop Scheffer.
The moderators were internationally respected journalists, Quentin Peel, International Affairs Editor of the Financial Times, and Jim Hoagland, columnist and Senior Foreign correspondent for the Washington Post