In a move that could potentially change the face of Kenyan politics, a petition has been filed seeking to introduce the offices of Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, and Official Leader of the Opposition.
The petition argues that the current “winner takes it all” system is regressive and that the introduction of these offices would promote inclusivity and reduce the divisive nature of presidential elections.
The petition was filed by Victor Okul, who claims that the current system is responsible for the polarizing presidential elections that have plagued Kenya since 2010. He notes that previous attempts to introduce these offices through constitutional mechanisms have been unsuccessful.
The National Assembly Majority and Minority leaders, Kimani Ichungwah and Opiyo Wandayi, are expected to weigh in on the matter, offering their views on the proposed amendment of the Constitution. The Public Petitions Committee, chaired by Kitui East MP Nimrod Mbai, will present its report to the House for further debate and action.
It’s worth noting that the proposal to introduce these offices was part of the recommendations in the failed Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2020, which was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in March 2021.
BBI aimed to expand the Executive and introduce the office of the Prime Minister and two deputies, with the goal of addressing historical injustices in Kenya.
While the fate of the current petition remains to be seen, it’s clear that the introduction of these offices would represent a significant shift in Kenyan politics and could potentially address some of the underlying issues that have led to divisive elections in the past.