ODM opposes Raila’s push for parliamentary system

ODM proposes weak prime minister to be appointed by the president
ODM national chairman John Mbadi (left) presents his party’s views before Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) task force at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi on February 26, 2020. Photo | Courtesy

The ODM party has made a dramatic about turn and opposed Raila’s quests for a parliamentary form of government.

Raila Odinga has been agitating for a parliamentary system with a powerful prime minister elected by members of parliament.

However, the party seems to have abandoned parliamentary system if going by its submission before the Building Bridges Initiative Task force is anything to go by.

When making the ODM party’s presentation before the Haji led BBI Task force yesterday, it became succinctly clear that ODM had abandoned the push for parliamentary and 3-tier form of government, which has often been fronted by ODM leader Raila Odinga as the panacea to Kenya’s governance problems.

Raila Odinga has been at the forefront pushing for parliamentary system. The former premier has also been pushing for a 3-tier form of government to include regional governments. The push to have regional governments has become popular with governors majority of whom are staring at political oblivion as their second term come to an end.

The consider regional government a soft landing pad to extend their political careers.

However, during yesterday’s submission before the Haji led BBI taskforce, ODM Chairman John Mbadi proposed an expanded executive made up of a president, his deputy and a prime minister appointed by the president.

“ The president shall appoint a Member of Parliament from a political party with a majority of members in the National Assembly to be prime minister,” Mbadi said in his submission.

According to ODM’s proposal, the president shall have the power to appoint and may dismiss the Prime Minister and deputy prime minister.

ODM’s proposal is a drift from the earlier position by Raila that had proposed the position of a prime minister with executive powers.

Raila had also proposed a parliamentary system with a powerful Prime minister and a ceremonial president.

ODM further proposed the position of official opposition leader from the second largest party or coalition of parties.

Mbadi was accompanied by ODM secretary general Edwin Sifuna and deputy secretary general Florence Mutua.

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