Office for official opposition leader will create peace: NCCK

Protestant churches have called for a change in law to create the positions of the office of the official leader of opposition, as well as that of a prime minister and two deputies.

The National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) on Tuesday said the additional positions to be created through Parliament or a referendum will help promote inclusivity and ownership of the government.

DIALOGUE

NCCK Secretary-General Peter Karanja also rallied for a national dialogue between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Nasa’s Raila Odinga to reduce ethnic tensions witnessed during the August 8 and October 26 elections.

The cleric said the current law that allows the winner to take it all while the loser gets nothing is to blame for the do-or-die nature of the country’s politics.

Speaking to journalists in Nairobi, Canon Karanja said the position of leader of opposition will not only provide dignity for the opposition, but also make it effective in holding the government to account.

“The position of the leader of opposition will be occupied by nominees of the political party or coalition which meets a set criteria, who may be the presidential candidate and running mate, who obtained the second highest number of votes in a presidential election,” said Canon Karanja at the Ufungamano House press conference.

Also in attendance was the Anglican Church of Kenya Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit.

TENSION

The proposal comes in the wake of heightened tensions arising from last Thursday’s fresh presidential election in which Mr Kenyatta was declared winner amidst a boycott by his main challenger, Mr Odinga.

Mr Odinga has, in return, rallied his supporters to civil disobedience of the government through the National Resistance Movement (NRM), which will champion the cause.

At the press conference, Canon Karanja said the prime minister and the deputies will sit on the Cabinet and may answer questions in Parliament.

Currently, the Constitution allows a maximum of 22 Cabinet secretary positions. An amendment to change the number can, however, be done through an Act of Parliament. 

“We hasten to add that this is an expanded executive of the winning party. If coalitions are made with parties or individuals who ran elections outside the winning party or coalition, it would be at the discretion of and under the unequivocal leadership of the elected President,” said Canon Karanja.

Nasa has called for street protests on Tuesday.

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