Senator Cherargei Proposes Extension of Kenya’s Presidential Term

In a recent proposal by Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei, there is a push for extending the presidential term in Kenya from the prevailing five years to seven years.

This proposal was presented to the National Dialogue Committee on September 22. Senator Cherargei’s argument for such an extension is based on the belief that it would grant the president ample time to effectively enact and realize their manifesto.

He asserts that the current constitutional provision, which limits a president to two consecutive terms totaling ten years, should be restructured to allow for two terms with each lasting seven years. By doing so, it would afford the president an enhanced opportunity to assemble a robust team that can efficiently deliver on their campaign promises, as per the memorandum that was made available to People Daily Digital.

Moreover, the senator claims that such an increment in term length could potentially remedy the frequent electoral issues Kenya faces. He points out the intense scrutiny and pressure associated with the presidential elections, primarily due to their occurrence in relatively short intervals. This, in Cherargei’s words, transforms the electoral process into a high-stakes “Do or Die” situation.

Additionally, Cherargei is championing the revival of certain political positions like the official leader of the opposition and the prime minister. He believes that these roles are essential for fortifying the bond between the executive and legislative branches of the government. At present, the majority party leader serves as the link between the two branches. However, Cherargei contends that holding the government accountable under this setup might be ineffective, given the political nuances it entails. He cites the British Parliament as a model, where the Prime Minister symbolizes the government within parliament. This setup ensures that the Prime Minister can provide clarity on the government’s stance on any issue as and when MPs require.

This call for public opinion by the National Dialogue Committee stems from its objective to gather insights on the dialogue agenda between two major Kenyan political entities: the Kenya Kwanza Alliance and Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya Coalition Party. Until September 11, a total of 142 memoranda had been obtained from various stakeholders.

The committee, led jointly by ex-Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, representing Azimio, and National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah from Kenya Kwanza, was instituted to address the impasse between the Kenya Kwanza government and the opposition. This impasse had driven the opposition to initiate street protests, voicing their discontent over the escalating cost of living and purported electoral discrepancies. The committee’s primary focus areas encompass the two-thirds gender rule, addressing the rising cost of living, upholding loyalty to political affiliations, solidifying political party funds within the constitution, and setting up the official leader of the opposition office along with the office of the prime cabinet secretary.


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