Prime Minister’s Position Retained as Final BBI Report Leaks

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The Building Bridges Initiative’s final report has reportedly retained the proposal for the creation of the position of a powerful prime minister, two deputies, and a selection of ministers from the National Assembly.

This is according to a leaked final document dubbed ‘Building Bridges Initiative Final Draft, The Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill 2022’.

According to the document accessed by an online publication People’s Daily, the Prime Minister will be picked from a party that will have won the majority of the seats in the parliament.

Uhuru gazettes 14-member BBI Steering Committee
President Uhuru with the BBI Taskforce Committee. Photo/Courtesy

The elected president within seven days of being sworn in will then be required to send the name to the National Assembly for support by more than half of the total MPs.

It is reported that the document is ready and was expected to be handed over to the duo, (Uhuru and Raila) by the end of this month but the recent advisory to the President by the Chief Justice to dissolve parliament could delay the plans.

The report, according to the sources, also proposes increased powers to the Senate that will enable it to be involved in the approval of key appointments including that of the Chief Justice and judges. In line with this, the Senate will have the final say on the Revenue Sharing Formula to counties.

And as one way of ensuring that the second runners up in presidential elections do not disappear into political oblivion, the document also proposes the creation of the position of the Leader of Official Opposition in the National Assembly.

Highly placed sources privy to the document disclosed that the final document ratified recommendations of the Bomas BBI draft.

The BBI committee led by Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji, has reportedly proposed an amendment to Article 130 on National Executive to insert the words ‘the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Ministers’ immediately after the words the Deputy President.

Prime Minister, according to the proposal, will be tasked with five key functions that include the leader of government business and oversee the legislative agenda on behalf of the government in Parliament currently assigned to the Leader of Majority.

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The final document, however, proposes for the posts of Leader of Majority as well as Minority to be completely scrapped.

Other functions of the PM will be to supervise the execution of the functions of ministries and government departments, chair committee meetings assigned by the President, assign any of the functions of the office of deputy prime ministers who will also be ministers and perform any other duty assigned by the President or conferred by legislation.

Most importantly, the proposal shows that a person will be eligible for the position of prime minister if he or she is an MP from a party with majority members in the House.

In case he/she fails to garner more than half of the support, the President shall appoint another member who, “in the President’s opinion, is able to command the confidence of the National Assembly” as the PM.

If the President’s second nominee fails to garner the required votes in parliament again, then the president has the powers to appoint the PM without passing through parliament.

However, the PM may be removed from office through a proposal by the president to the National Assembly and is supported by the votes of all the members, if a one-quarter of all members move a motion of no confidence and a majority supports the resolution.

Deputy Prime Ministers will be picked by the President from among his Cabinet ministers, who the BBI team has recommended should include MPs, and will perform any duties assigned to them by the Prime Minister.

The president has the power to dismiss the two DPMs.

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