Kenyans would pass law if vote held

February 19, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 19 – A majority of Kenyans would vote ‘Yes’ at the Referendum for the Naivasha version of the draft Constitution proposed by the Parliamentrary Select Committee on Constitution Review (PSC), according to a new survey.

The Synovate opinion poll released on Friday revealed that about 51percent of those interviewed support the document. Another 27 percent stated they would vote ‘No’, while another 21 percent were undecided. 

Synovate’s lead researcher Tom Wolf said majority of the supporters of the draft are from the Orange Democratic Movement despite reports that a majority of the proposals of the party were not included in the draft.

“Only 44 percent of those identifying with PNU would endorse the new Constitution,” said the poll analyst. 

A national referendum is expected in the middle of the year to endorse the new law. The government and the PSC have expressed the desire to mobilise support for the draft from the public to ensure the country goes into a non-contested referendum.

The opinion poll states that Kenyans rank the Presidential system of government as their favourite proposal of the draft with 62 percent support.
Most Kenyans have indicated that they are fed up with the current arrangement of power sharing between the President and the Prime Minister therefore dismissing the hybrid system.

“Here, a clear majority mentioned the adoption of a presidential system without power-sharing,” said Dr Wolf.

Dr Wolf says the retention of Kadhi courts and the increase of the number of constituencies are the most unpopular outcomes with a mere three percent support each.

“When asked if the total number of constituencies should be increased, only 25 percent said yes, with about the same proportion (27 percent) wanting it to remain unchanged (210).  Perhaps surprisingly, however, almost twice as many (47 percent) preferring it should be decreased,” reads the analysis report.

The PSC proposed a 349-member Parliament increasing with the creation of 80 new constituencies and 47 special seats. Prime Minister Raila Odinga has led the rejection of the increase of number of MPs saying the country cannot handle the increased financial burden. He has been backed by civil society organisations and a number of parliamentarians.

The prohibition of abortion and calendar-separation of presidential and parliamentary elections are in a tie at seven percent approval, followed by the absence of a Bill of Rights five percent and insufficiently robust local government and weak parliamentary oversight of the executive (both at four percent), followed by the eligibility of MPs for cabinet appointment (three percent), even if they have to subsequently resign their seats.


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