Senators call for powerful PM post, more powers through BBI

Wednesday March 18 2020
Orengo

Siaya Senator James Orengo during an interview at his Parliament office on December 4, 2019. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By SAMWEL OWINO

The Senate has asked the Building Bridges Initiative Taskforce to consider a hybrid system of government and strengthening the House as it works on the final document.

In a statement signed by minority leader James Orengo and Nyeri senator Ephraim Maina after a consultative meeting, senators argued that a hybrid will be more inclusive in terms of the leadership structure.

The House has also called for a powerful Prime Minister, saying the proposal in the BBI report weakens the office.

“The Senate suggests that the Prime Minister position be more empowered as it is weak as presented in the BBI recommendations,” reads the statement.

POWER-SHARING

On strengthening the Senate, the lawmakers called for power-sharing in legislative bodies, saying the Constitution has presented a lame senate whose oversight powers are curtailed by the National Assembly.

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“Senators drew parallels with the United States Senate, where bills from the National Assembly pass through the Senate before presidential assent,” said the statement.

On reforming the Independent, Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), the legislators want political parties included as key stakeholders in constituting members of the commission.

“The Senate calls for a comprehensive rearrangement of the IEBC, addressing the conflict between the commission and its secretariat, by making the chairman the CEO to address effectiveness of the electoral body in discharging its mandate."

The senators supported the BBI team on the proposal to have serving members of Parliament appointed to the Cabinet.