The Nandi Senator, Samson Cherargei, recently proposed an amendment to the Presidential term limit. His proposal states that the term limit be increased from five years to seven years per term.
Critics have harshly responded to this proposal. Most of them mentioned that the presidential term limit increase could be a ploy to introduce ‘presidents for life’ shortly.
Cherargei is a member of the ruling party, United Democratic Alliance, led by President William Ruto. His proposal, if approved, will see Kenyns holding elections every seven years instead of five years.
The senator presented the memorandum to the National Dialogue Committee at the Bomas of Kenya. He mentioned that he seeks to amend the presidential term limit in Kenya from five years to seven years before the next election period.
The proposal has however been denied and criticised by the opposition and other opinion leaders. According to them, it is ill-advised to increase the presidential term limit and is in no way in the interest of the people.
The people question whether it was solely the senator’s decision to table the proposal, or the president had a hand to play in it. Opinion leaders against it claim that Ruto just wanted to test the waters and see how Kenyans would react to the idea.
High-ranking UDA leaders have, however, mentioned that the party and State House had nothing to do with the Senator’s proposal. They further clarified that no one had sent nor instructed him to table the proposal during the event.
“This is just a trial balloon and the tip of the iceberg. Their ultimate goal is to abolish presidential term limits. But they will not succeed. They will meet the full resistance of Kenyans,” said Mr Opiyo Wandayi, leader of the Minority Party in the National Assembly.
Reactions to the Proposal
Other opinion leaders claim that the proposal is yet another political distraction amid the high cost of living. They mentioned further that Kenyans would never want to prolong their suffering by allowing the president to increase the term limit. According to them, changing the presidential term limit should not be a priority at the moment. There are bigger issues to handle such as the high cost of living in their opinion.
Most of the opposition leaders claim that this proposal would be the first step to taking Kenyans back to the late President Moi’s era. Where he retained office for longer than he had ought to. They further mentioned that if terms were to be altered, then they should be reduced and not increased.
They compared Kenya’s term limits to the term limits in the United States. According to them, the presidential term limit if altered, should be reduced to four years per term instead of the current five.
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Members of Kenya Kwanza have also denied the proposal tabled by one of their members. According to them, the proposal would send Kenyans to a national referendum which would be too costly to the country. In addition to that, they see no need to have the term increase.
Cherargei had also proposed the creation of the Prime Minister’s office within the Parliament. The role of this office would be to act as the government’s spokesperson within the legislative body. This proposal was equally followed by harsh criticism from lawmakers. They mentioned that the Executive did not have a seat in the Legislative body for a reason.
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