ODM chief Raila Odinga has declared planned constitutional amendment through the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) must go on no matter what.
Speaking at a funeral on July 20 at the Coast, Raila said there is a plan B should the Court of Appeal not grant the BBI promoters their wishes in its much-awaited august 20 judgment.
The ODM chief is Uhuru’s co-principal in the push for a constitutional amendment before the next General Election whose main thrust is to create more political seats in a bid to reduce cut-throat political competition in Kenya.
“Should the Court of Appeal dismiss the BBI appeal, we have an alternative route to effecting planned constitutional amendments,” said Raila without disclosing the details of plan B.
The sentiments come exactly a month to the expected judgment from the Court of Appeal which is expected to determine the fate of the planned constitutional change which William Ruto and a host of other leaders are opposed to.
The opponents like William Ruto argue the push for a constitutional change is fueled by politicians interested in creating more political seats for themselves.
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The constitutional amendments include creating the position of Prime Minister and two deputies as well as remove the post of deputy president and replace with the vice president.
BBI bill also proposes to increase constituencies from 290 to 360, something many have argued will increase Kenya’s wage expenditure on Member of Parliament.
But proponents of BBI like ODM chief Raila Odinga argue it proposes to increase allocations to counties from 15% of the national budget to 30% thus fuelling development in counties.
It is also argued that in the plan, cabinet secretaries shall be appointed from among Members of Parliament thus reducing the public wage bill since the current arrangement is to have Cabinet Secretaries appointed separately from Members of Parliament.
The ODM chief and other BBI proponents filed petitions at the Court of Appeal seeking to reverse the May 13 judgment by the High Court which slammed the brakes on a planned referendum on grounds that President Uhuru Kenyatta used the popular initiative route to initiate amendments to the constitution yet that route is a preserve of common mwanainchi.
Should the Appeal Court reverse the High Court judgement, Kenya will have to contend with participating in a referendum and General Election in the spacereferundum of under 12 months.