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Aukot To Present Referendum Bill, Signatures To IEBC On February 21

Thirdway Alliance Party Leader Ekuru Aukot. [IMAGE/ COURTESY]

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is set to receive a referendum bill and signatures fro the Thirdway Alliance party on February 21.

The party leader Ekuru Aukot had earlier on written to the commission requesting for a date to submit the bill and signatures.

“We write to inform you that the commission is ready to receive your draft bill and signatures on the 21st February, 2019,” responded IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati.

Aukots referendum call dubbed ‘Punguza Mzigo‘ aims at reducing the size of Constitutional commissions, strengthen devolution and senate, reduce the number of members of parliament as well as reducing the cost of running parliament.

In December last year, an Infotrack survey showed that constitutional change call is supported by 44 per cent of Kenyans but opposed by 45 per cent while another 12 per cent were still undecided.

The Nasa wing of politicians have also been drumming for a constitutional change, with creation of the parliamentary form of government.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, despite opposition from some Jubilee MPs, seemingly decided to support the referendum idea after the famous handshake to avoid situations where winner takes it all.

Read: Moses Kuria Accuses Duale Of Trying To Remove Him From Parliamentary Committees

“We said we must look at this issue of winner takes all. If that is why some people feel left out of government, we must ask ourselves, ‘Is is a good thing or not’,” said the President.

This is opposed to Aukots calls of reducing the wage burden, since Nasa’s proposal would expand the executive meaning an increased wage bill.

Deputy President William Ruto’s wing which has been opposing referendum calls seems to have softened their stance, and made a U-turn  to root for one.

While in London at Chatham House, Ruto suggested that presidential runners-up should get government positions so that they do not feel left out.

“Elections in Kenya are close-run contest. Often enough, the winner and runner-up achieve more than five million votes. The winner ascends to a formally constituted leadership role while the runner-up becomes a virtual stranger in leadership,” said Ruto.

IEBC might have to wait for draft bill from other pushers for referendum in order to conduct a single referendum before 2022.

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