Governor Jonathan Bii reacts to proposal for extension of presidential term limits
Uasin Gishu county governor Jonathan Bii, popularly known as Koti Moja in political circles, has responded to a proposal to increase the presidential term limit to seven years.
The county boss said on September 26, 2023, that it was up to Kenyans to decide the fate of the proposal even as he maintained the ruling United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party had pronounced itself on the matter.
“That is his personal proposal. The last time we had such a proposal it did not see the light of the day. The constitution is clear about the presidential term limit. However, it is just a proposal and if the committee considers it, it will be subjected to public participation and Kenyans will decide,” said Mr Bii during a press briefing at the county assembly after delivering his State of the County address.
Kapseret-Simat ward MCA Moses Kibenei said he was opposed to the proposal to have an extension of the presidential term limit from the current five to seven years per term.
He, however, said that he would back the proposal to have a presidential term limit to serve up to a maximum of seven years.
“I believe the proposal to seven years’ maximum would be one to prepare their budgets and implement on key projects . . . And after that he should hand it over to another person to lead the country,” said Mr Kibenei.
A section of residents have also voiced mixed reactions to the proposal with some of the residents supporting the proposal.
Dennis Kiptoo, a resident of Kapseret, pointed out that the presidential term should be revised to four years like in the United States.
“I think this is a more individualistic proposal, personally we are yet to fully benefit from this government. In any case, I think the term limit should be reduced to four years or we have a president serving only for seven years,” said the resident.
Earlier, the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party distanced itself from a proposal by Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei to extend the presidential limit to two seven-year terms.
In an official statement issued on September 25, 2023, UDA secretary Cleophas Malala, stressed that the controversial Senator’s proposal does not reflect the party’s stance or that of President Ruto.
Senator Cheragei last week proposed the extension of the presidential term limit to seven years.
Senator Cherargei submitted a memorandum to the National Dialogue Committee seeking to have the presidential term increased.
The current constitution specifically outlines a five-year term with the option of a subsequent five-year term.
Therefore, any changes to the constitutional framework would necessitate a national referendum.
Furthermore, Cherargei has proposed the formation of the Office of the Prime Minister within the parliamentary structure, with responsibilities that include serving as the government’s official spokesperson within the legislative body.
A section of politicians drawn from both the government and opposition have also rubbished the proposal.