Raila Odinga’s Party Pushes for Referendum to Create Prime Minister’s Position

ODM is backing the proposed referendum that seeks to create the position of Executive Prime Minster through a constitutional amendment.

Party Chair John Mbadi however says the party is against the Office of the Prime Minister assuming all key executive functions.

“We want it harmonized in such a way that the President is not only ceremonial but also retains the role of Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces,” he said

The ODM legislator called for a referendum to legitimize important constitutional issues such as devolution, electoral reforms and key governing institutions.

Mbadi said when very important issues are involved, it is appropriate to let the people make the final decision.

“In the wake of increasing voter apathy and disenchantment with traditional forms of democracy, direct democracy can help to re-engage voters with politics,” he said.

Mbadi enumerated some of the issues that have forced them to opt for a referendum. They include proposals by most MPs that they should serve for 10 years as opposed to five-year terms. Some of them claim a five-year term is too short to make any meaningful impact and this is to blame for many abandoned and incomplete projects.

“So we have tasked some of our members to explore alternative provisions that will not be effected without seeking the consent of the voters in a referendum,” he said. Already, the lawmakers are drafting a Motion to this effect, which could soon be tabled in the House for debate.

(Story Courtesy Standard)

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