Prime Minister office could return in proposed drastic changes
Tiaty MP Kassait Kamket has drafted a Bill that seeks to drastically alter the structure of the Executive arm of the government.
The Constitution of Kenya (Amendments) Bill of 2017, perhaps the most elaborate attempt to amend the 2010 constitution, seeks to create the positon of an executive Prime Minister who will be the head of government, while reducing the holder of the Office of the President to ceremonial duties.
The PM will have two deputies to assist him or her in the day-to-day running of government.
The MP is proposing that the PM be an elected member of the National Assembly with the additional role of Leader of Government Business.
He also proposes the scrapping of the office of the deputy President because the President ceremonial functions do not require a deputy.
For one to be elected President, one will have to be above 50 years and will serve a single term of seven years.
The office holder will be elected by a joint sitting of Parliament.
NOT HOLD OFFICE
The Bill further proposes that once elected, he or she will not hold an elected office in a political party.
If the Bill is approved by more than two-thirds of the MPs, then the PM will have the power to pick members of his cabinet from among members of the National Assembly, while at the same reintroduce the office of the Official Leader of Opposition.
The Bill also seeks to change the date of the general election, from the second Tuesday of August to the second Tuesday of December of the fifth year.
It proposes to reconstitute and restructure the Senate from its current format.
According to the MP, every county shall have two senators, a man and woman, but they will be elected by the County Assembly.
Six other senators will be nominated to represent youths and persons living with disabilities.
“The enactment of the Bill will foster inclusivity in the leadership of the country and proper accountability of the government to parliament,” the MP states in the Bill’s memorandum of objects and reasons.
The MP is expected to meet the Budget and Appropriations committee on Wednesday to defend the proposals. The committee will scrutinise the Bill and detail its effect on public expenditure.
Once it is introduced in the House, the Bill will stand committed to the relevant committee where it will undergo public participation for 90 days as it is a proposal to amend the constitution.
During this time, the public will have the opportunity to give their views on the Bill.