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Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga signs for the BBI report on November 22, 2020 at the KICC, Nairobi.

BBI

Raila: I will respect Appeals Court verdict on BBI

NAIROBI, Kenya July 8 – Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga says he will accept the Court of Appeal verdict on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

Odinga filed an appeal alongside the BBI Secretariat, the electoral commission and President Uhuru Kenyatta following a judgement by the constitutional court that declared the process null and void.

A verdict of the Appeals court is due on August 20.

The Orange Democratic Movement Party (ODM) Leader said he is not known to disrespect or ignore court orders and that he does not intend to start anytime soon.

“We are people who love democracy and as a country, we have come from far in ensuring that our sovereignty is intact. I will respectfully accept whatever outcome the Judges will render,” he said on Thursday during an interview on Citizen Radio citing the 2013 presidential election petition that he lost at the Supreme Court.

The Daniel Musinga-led bench is on August 20, 2021 set to render its verdict on the appeals on BBI.

Odinga has however, exuded confidence that the Appeals court will “uphold the will of the people.”

“Our lawyers made strong and solid submissions and I have faith that the Judges will do the right thing. They are well experienced and I have confidence that they will allow the BBI reggae to go on,” he said.

While the timeliness factor on amending the Constitution has been cited as an impediment itself notwithstanding the verdict of the Court of Appeal, Odinga has maintained that there is sufficient time for the BBI document to be subjected to a referendum.

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“We still have one more year to go and referendum is a one-month’s exercise. There are countries that have managed to do more than five plebiscites in under a year, why is Kenya different?” he posed.

Odinga stated that the 2022 General Election should not be used as an excuse to deny Kenyans an opportunity to amend the constitution.

The BBI process seeks to have the president remain head of government and commander-in-chief, while ministers would answer to a Prime Minister.

If adopted, the law would also lead to the creation of 70 new parliamentary constituencies and an official office of the opposition leader in parliament.

Some have argued that adopting the reforms would burden a country already struggling with debt with new sky-high bills — and create more opportunities for patronage and corruption.

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