Bill allowing rotational presidency to be tabled in Parliament

Bill allowing rotational presidency to be tabled in Parliament

A President would govern for only five years, as the Bill scraps the two-term limit.

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Uhuru Kenyatta receives instruments of authority from Mwai Kibaki as President of Kenya at his swearing in ceremony in 2013. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

A Bill seeking to lock out candidates from communities that have produced a President in the last 50 years from running for the seat is set for tabling in the National Assembly.

The proposed law, still in the drafting stages, aims to amend the Constitution to allow for the Presidency to be rotated among the leading ethnic communities.

The sponsor of the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill 2016, nominated MP Zulekha Juma, said the proposed law would help end the animosity around presidential elections witnessed since independence.

“A person is not qualified for nomination as a presidential candidate if the person is of the same ethnic origin as the current president or any of the five immediate preceding presidents,” says the Bill.

If passed, the communities of President Kenyatta and former Presidents Mwai Kibaki and Daniel arap Moi would not be allowed to present a candidate until after 30 years.

A President would govern for only five years, as the Bill scraps the two-term limit of five years each as indicated in the Constitution.

The proposed law has little chance of passing, although Ms Juma said she would lobby her colleagues to support it.

“People will not feel that they are being dominated by some two communities anymore. This will give other communities a chance to lead this country. I know it might not be popular, but I will try as much as possible to push for its support,” she told journalists at Parliament on Thursday.

Because the Bill seeks to amend the Constitution, it would require two-thirds of MPs and senators to vote for it before it is put to a referendum.

It may also curtail the constitutional right to elect whoever one prefers as it would lock out candidates from affected communities. It also violates the right to seek an elective post.

The Bill does not affect deputy presidents.

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