Barely a day after tabling fresh and additional demands on the ongoing consensus discussion on the Building Bridges Initiative document, Deputy President William Ruto’s proposals have been dealt a huge blow.
The DP’s quest for multiple questions in the BBI referendum may not see the light of the day after two key house committees struck a deal to stop it.
This is after the pro-handshake-controlled Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC) and the Constitution Implementation Oversight Committee (CIOC), all agreed on a harmonized single closed question.
The two panels also struck a deal to ensure that the planned referendum bill 2020 is amended to block the possibility of the planned referendum being held alongside the 2022 general elections.
This is after the DP had proposed for a multiple-choice referendum, and also wanting it to be held alongside the 2022 general elections.
The second in command further called for a review on the proposed appointment of the Judiciary Ombudsman, and the election of the 47 woman representatives, a move the two house panels appears not be ready for.
Reports indicate that the JLAC committee led by Kangema MP Muturi Kigano and CIOC guided by his Ndaragwa counterpart Jeremiah Kioni are not providing room for the DP’s push for the alternatives.
JLAC vice-chairperson Otiende Amolo said they were waiting for the house speaker Justin Muturi’s direction on which bill to amend to incorporate the recommendations.
“We agreed that we can only have one referendum question and cannot hold a referendum alongside the General Election,”.
“If the Speaker says we amend our Bill, the CIOC chair will move the amendment. If he says we amend the CIOC version, then our chairman will move the amendment to factor in the resolutions reached during the harmonization,” he said.
The lawmaker’s only fear was the recent high court orders intending to nullify the 23 acts of parliament passed without the senate involvement affecting the referendum bill.
“The ruling, which has been appealed, only suggested that legislation should not be passed by the National Assembly without the input of the Senate.
“In so far as the referendum Bill is involved, we were always clear that a referendum would require the input of the Senate,” he said.