BBI: Why Justin Muturi wants voting of president, governors abolished

Wednesday March 18 2020
By PATRICK LANG'AT

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi wants the election of the president and governors by universal suffrage abolished, with Kenyans instead required to vote for political parties.

The winning party, he reckons, should then go ahead to nominate persons to the key executive offices after the General Election.

Mr Muturi is also pushing for the removal of constituency boundaries, with Kenyans only voting for parties and each MP representing between 150,000 and 200,000 people.

In his presentation to the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) team, Mr Muturi said the requirement that Kenyans directly elect leaders had become a source of strife.

“In order to build a bridge that allows us to transcend the pitfalls of heavily contested presidential elections, it is proposed to remove election of the president by universal suffrage. Instead, the popular will of the people manifested through one man one vote should be actuated through the nomination of the president by the party that garners majority votes at the General Election,” Mr Muturi told the BBI team.

On governors, the Speaker wants each party to nominate three people qualified to hold office and send the names to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) before the polls.

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“Upon pronouncement of results of a General Election, the chairperson of IEBC shall forward for each county the name of one person nominated by the political party with the majority of votes at the county level, to the Speaker of Senate for approval consideration by the Senate,” Mr Muturi said.

If approved, the person shall be gazetted as governor and should nominate a person of the opposite gender as deputy governor.

If a name is rejected, Mr Muturi proposes, the IEBC should forward the second name in the list within three days for consideration.

INEFFECTIVE

He described as ineffective the scenario where over 42 per cent of the 67 senators are nominated.

“I propose to re-organise the membership of the Senate to comprise 94 Senators, being one man and one woman from each of the 47 counties, elected directly by the voters in a county,” he said.

On the National Assembly, he said: “I propose that by whatever formula, the membership of the National Assembly should be such that each member represents not more than 200,000 residents, while reflecting ethnic population proportions, cities and urban areas, geographical features, historical and economic factors, marginalised groups and minorities.”

To avoid what he said were “judicial cartels”, he wants sitting judicial officers to cease being members of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) while lawyers elected to the body be barred from practising at the time of their tenure.

On political parties, Mr Muturi wants those that fail to garner at least one seat in the National Assembly in an election to be deregistered.

“If you are a party that cannot get at least one seat, really, just give us a break. Go and do something else. It mustn’t be politics. Go and marry or something,” Mr Muturi said.