Kenya: High Noon


There is this frantic effort to have the coalition partners PNU and ODM to agree to a common position on the Harmonized Draft Constitution. This proving be difficult because of inter and intraparty politics with most in PNU asking for an all-powerful President and a Senior Minister Known as the Prime Minister appointed by the President (meaning maintaining the status quo) and ODM arguing for an empowered Prime Minister and a ceremonial President as head of State.

Why each side advocates a particular form of government is not difficult to understand. It is about ethnic-bloc politics. Those advocating the Presidential system appear to believe that it is easy to sponsor a Presidential candidate (and rig him in 2007 style!), while it may not be easy to get a plurality of seats in Parliament given Kenya’s flux ethnic politics. Those supporting the Parliamentary System with a powerful Prime Minister believe that it is possible for a National Party to win a plurality of Parliamentary seats. When all is said and done Kenyans’ opinions are a product of tribe and perceived injustices –real or imagined.

Let PNU and ODM forward their individual-party positions to the committee of Experts to allow the CoE finalize the draft. How do we expect them to have a unified position when they have not governed as one?

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