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Kenya to go the American way

NAIROBI, Kenya Jan 21 – Kenya could be headed for a pure presidential system of governance modeled around the American one.

Reports from Naivasha indicate that the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Constitution has settled on a pure presidential system of government to be checked by a strong Parliament and an independent Judiciary.

The 26 members extended their sittings on Wednesday evening and unanimously agreed on the system without having to vote. In the envisaged system, the President and Ministers will be non-members of Parliament.

The PSC was on Thursday scheduled to agree on the finer details of the system although it already ruled out the post of Prime Minister. The powerful President will however be thoroughly checked by the House.

Under this system all key government appointees will be approved by Parliament.

The presidential system has been fronted by the Party of National Unity while its coalition partner the Orange Democratic Movement has all along insisted on a pure parliamentary system. Narc Kenya came up with the proposal to adopt the American system in a bid to avoid creating two centres of power.

In its bid to adopt a middle ground, the Committee of Experts proposed a hybrid system which provided for a ceremonial President while the Prime Minister would have been Head of State and Government yielding executive power.

The committee is in a weeklong retreat in Naivasha to gain consensus on the contentious issues. The committee on Wednesday agreed on a 325-member Parliament but is yet to discuss the proposed two-chamber Parliament.

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Other contentious chapters lined up for debate include the one on devolution, the Judiciary and the transitional clauses.

The team is due to submit its report to the Committee of Experts on January 29.

The experts will then be expected to incorporate the proposed amendments within 21 days and hand over the document for debate and adoption by Parliament.

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