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Bomas Talks: Kenya Likely to Hold a Referendum in 2024

by Walter
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Kenya could be heading to a referendum next year, in 2024, two years after the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) championed by former president Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga.

A number of proposals submitted to the National Dialogue Committee collecting views at the Bomas of Kenya touch on key articles in the 2010 Constitution that will require a referendum for them to be achieved.

Presentations such as the one seeking to have the creation of extra counties, and the proposal by a group of MPs pushing for an increase of 11 counties from the current 47 are among the changes that need a plebiscite.

When the talks began, Kenya Kwanza and Azimio coalitions had agreed on a number of issues, including the creation of the Office of the Official Opposition and that of the Prime Minister to be entrenched in the Constitution.

On Friday, Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei presented a proposal seeking to increase the number of presidents from five years to seven.

On Tuesday, the Law Society of Kenya President Eric Theuri suggested the introduction of staggered elections for various seats.

“Is it time to amend the Constitution so that the elections are not held at the same time? Would there be considerable merit in separating the terms on when elections can be done? It makes it extremely difficult to conduct six elections at the same time,” he said.

The National Dialogue Committee is co-chaired by Majority Leader in the National Assembly Kimani Ichungwa and Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka.

The committee was formed after talks between Ruto and Raila in Mombasa organized by former Nigeria President Olusegun Obasanjo after a spate of violent street protests.

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