Omtatah files a constitutional amendment petition to have Kenya vote American way

Activist Okiya Omtatah has drafted a Bill to amend the Constitution to have Kenya resort to the electoral college system of voting to elect a president.

This kind of voting is used in the US.


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The Constitution of Kenya Draft Amendment Bill 2017 aims to amend Article 138 of the Constitution to provide for the election of a president and his deputy by electoral vote, on a county-by-county basis, as opposed to the current system, where both are deemed elected when they win the popular vote.

In the draft, Mr Omtatah is seeking to amend sub article 138 (3) of the Constitution to bar tallying of presidential votes at the national level.

“Each one of the 47 counties shall constitute one presidential electoral point and each one of the 290 constituencies shall also constitute one presidential electoral point,” the draft partly reads.

Minority groups

Total number of electoral points for electing the President shall be 337, representing 290 constituencies plus 47 counties, it adds. The Bill says devolving the presidency would “enhance the status of minority groups”.

“By making the votes of a given county an all-or-nothing affair, minority groups can provide the critical edge that enables a candidate to win. This will encourage candidates to court a wide variety of such minorities and advocacy groups,” the Bill reads.

The amendment requires the collection of one million signatures to trigger a referendum in case the National Assembly rejects the Bill.

Once the signatures are collected, the motion is tabled in all 47 county assemblies. The proposed law must be approved by at least 24 counties for it to be forwarded to the National Assembly.

“Should Parliament pass it then it is signed into law by the President,” Omtatah told The Standard. 

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