Raila Odinga photo:courtesy
Kenyans will lose the power to directly elect a president under a National Super Alliance (NASA) government in a radical proposal that the Opposition says will enhance national unity.
According to the alliance’s manifesto, if Raila Odinga is elected President, NASA will sponsor constitutional amendments in its first 100 days in office to provide for a hybrid executive system based on the Bomas draft as a mechanism for enhancing cohesion.
The Opposition alliance says a directly elected president in a presidential system favours larger communities and encourages exclusivity.
“A hybrid parliamentary system based on the Bomas draft will not only allow individuals from smaller communities to rise to the highest office in the land but also encourage an inclusive system of power sharing,” the manifesto adds.
It does not however specify how exactly a President will be elected but the manifesto hints at a model that is not based on a popularity vote as is done in the United States.
There are various versions of the Bomas draft and it is not clear which version will be implemented by a NASA government.
According to the final Bomas draft, the President shall appoint the Cabinet consisting of the Prime Minister, two Deputy Prime Ministers nominated by the Prime Minister and the executive will have not less than 15 and not more than 20 ministers. The ministers will be nominated by the Prime Minister.
The Government will also have between 15 and 20 Deputy Ministers nominated by the Prime Minister.
Later versions of the draft however were amended to have a similar structure as what was eventually passed as the new Constitution after knocking out the office of the Prime Minister and having the President elected in line with the presidential system.
In the fourth draft of the Bomas draft, if two or more candidates for President are nominated, an election shall be held in each constituency.
NASA is also proposing to increase the percentage of national revenue allocated to the counties up to 45 per cent in order to ensure funds follow and match functions and absorption in its first 100 days in office.
It will also collaborate with county governments to establish a Ward Development Fund and convene a national conference to set out the tenets of co-operation between national and county governments in running the affairs of government in the next five years.
The Opposition has also promised to restructure and realign the State Department of Devolution and Planning to focus more on intergovernmental relations and co-ordination of inter-ministerial functions relevant to devolution rather than supervision of county governments.
It will restructure and realign the National Treasury to enable it effectively and harmoniously serve the interests of both levels of government.
“As the chairperson of the national and county governments coordinating Summit, the President will revamp the summit by convening regular meetings to address emerging issues of co-operative government and intergovernmental relations,” the manifesto adds.
It is also promising to collaborate with the Council of Governors to review the transition process and identify all the challenges and transfer of specific functions.
It adds that it will work with the Council of Governors to clarify the constitutional distribution of functions and initiate legislation to clarify the functions of each level of government.
NASA says it will also provide a framework for assignment of additional functions to county governments and provide for a framework for the transfer of functions and powers from one level of government to another.