Wednesday, September 20, 2023 – The National Dialogue Committee (NADOC) yesterday heard from Kibwezi West Member of Parliament Mwengi Mutuse, who suggested a modification to the governance system, specifically regarding the election of the Kenyan President.
In his recommendations to NADOC, Mutuse expressed the view that the creation of the Office of the Leader of Opposition within a presidential system of government was unnecessary, as he believed such an office already exists, eliminating the need for constitutional amendments.
“To address concerns of inclusion of the Opposition, I propose allowing presidential candidates to also run for membership of the National Assembly,” Mutuse recommended.
His argument is that, in the Kenyan Constitution that was adopted in 2010, the term Official Opposition was replaced with Minority Party and the Leader of Government Business became the Leader of the Majority Party.
If NADOC accepts and Parliament ratifies Mutuse’s proposals, presidential candidates would once again vie for the top seat as Members of Parliament, reviving a practice that was discontinued after the 2007 general election.
Mutuse’s letter to the dialogue committee highlighted that the current constitution does not prohibit a return to this tradition.
The Maendeleo Chap Chap elected MP added that the Elections Act also does not restrict the country from charting this path.
According to Mutuse, the existing limitations barring a President from running as an MP stemmed from an overly cautious interpretation of the Constitution.
Mutuse, in his proposal to NADOC, emphasized that adopting his proposals would promote inclusivity and ensure that popular presidential candidates who don’t emerge victorious at the polls are not left out in the cold.
The Kenyan DAILY POST