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UDA rejects Cherargei’s bid to extend presidential term

By Mercy Simiyu September 25th, 2023 2 min read

President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party has 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.

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Malala highlighted that the Head of State had taken an oath to uphold and protect the Constitution, which clearly outlines the presidential term limits.

“The UDA Party respects and acknowledges Senator Cherargei’s personal views. However, specifically regarding the proposed extension of the presidential term limit, these views do not align with the UDA Party’s position or that of our Party Leader, President William Ruto,” read part of Malala’s statement.

“The President has solemnly sworn to respect, uphold, and defend the constitution, which unequivocally defines the presidential term limit.”

Malala underlined that the primary focus of the ruling party is to fulfill the promises made to the Kenyan people during their election campaigns.

He added that the party has put up plans to provide a detailed assessment of their achievements for Kenyans to evaluate, in line with the upcoming election cycle’s timelines.

“In light of this, the debate on the term limit is deemed extraneous and tangential,” Malala concluded.

Senator Cherargei recently submitted a memorandum to the National Dialogue Committee at the Bomas of Kenya, in which he, among others, proposed an extension of the presidential term limit from the current five to seven years.

This proposal, which could enable President Ruto rule for up to two decades, has generated significant controversy, with many expressing opposition to it.

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.