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The only item in the proposed BBI report that will unite Raila and Duale



NAIROBI—There’s finally one item ODM leader Raila Odinga and Garissa Township MP, Aden are in agreement on as the country awaits the content of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report.

The BBI Taskforce is expected to submit the report to President Uhuru Kenyatta and the ODM boss. The 14-member taskforce has made proposals that could change the political terrain and address the problems facing the country.

As the debate on the BBI gathers steam, it appears both Duale and Raila are reading from the script, particularly on the issue of the country getting a parliamentary system of government.

In parliamentary system of government, the  political party that wins the most seats in the parliament during the general election forms the government. This majority party chooses a leader to be the Prime Minister and other high-ranking members of the party make up the cabinet. 

It’s called ‘parliamentary government’ because all of the power is vested in the parliament. In a presidential system like the Kenya, the executive branch is separate, and the president is popularly elected by the citizens of the nation. In a parliamentary system, the head of the government is chosen from the parliament. If none of the parties who participated in the elections achieve a majority in parliament, then a unity government is forms.

Raila wants that system of government because he believes it will stop the recurring post-election bloodshed Kenya experiences every five years.

“The reason President and I resolved to come up with the BBI for three key reasons: to end tribalism, end election rigging and fight the scourge of corruption,” Odinga said. He said the BBI will do away with the presidential system “that cause bloodshed.”

On the other hand, Aden Duale also now supports the BBI. He argues that if adopted, the proposal will allow all Kenyan communities to get a chance to lead the nation as head of state.

“On the issue of the structure of government, Raila and I are political bed fellows. I support it because it will give equal opportunities to all the communities in the country to have a share of leadership positions,” he said suring an interview with the Sunday Standard two weeks ago.

In a statement to newsrooms in late last month, the Garissa Township MP said the Central Kenya region does not have a monopoly to the presidency.

His remarks come hardly a week after Mt Kenya MPs announced that the region will reject the Building Bridges Initiative task force report recommending a parliamentary system of government.  

“I have been consistent since the 2010 constitutional change process that the best governance system for Kenya should be the parliamentary one, where all communities will have an opportunity to lead the country,” Duale stated.

He maintains that the shift to parliamentary will give opportunity to other communities out of the Big Five—the Kikuyus, Kalenjins, Luos, Luhyas and Kamba— to wrestle out for the top post of the Prime Minister.

The BBI task force which was headed by Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji concluded writing the report on nine issues last week and is expected to present it to the President and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga anytime this week.


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