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Human Rights Official Says Kenyans Want an Accountable Government

  • Peter Clottey

Post-election violence in Kenya

Post-election violence in Kenya

The deputy president of Kenya’s National Human Rights Commission says Kenyans want more checks and balances in their government.

The deputy president of Kenya’s National Human Rights Commission says Kenyans want more checks and balances in their government.

Post-election violence led to the demand for democratic reforms

Post-election violence led to the demand for democratic reforms

Hassan Omar said citizens have been vocal in their opinions and expectations about the current draft constitution.

The debate on the draft constitution ends Wednesday.

Omar said Kenyans want the other branches of their government to be strong and independent.

“This time more than anytime the debate has been quite (serious). There has been a lot of input of a diversity of interest groups…but as the process comes to an end today…I hope that the committee of experts will take into consideration the views that the Kenyan people have expressed with respect to a harmonized draft constitution,” he said.

President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga

President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga

There is a sharp difference in the coalition government between the Party of National Unity (PNU) and the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) over the type of government.

While the ODM proposes a parliamentary system of governance, the PNU favors a presidential system.

Omar said there is a need for a compromise.

“The ideal situation would have been to get both the parties agree to how the executive power is going to be shared or how the executive is going to function. There is a general feeling in the country that there is more of an acceptance to the hybrid system of government …what the committee of expert will have is to see how they can pull off some kind of a political settlement within the two main political parties in the country,” Omar said.

Meanwhile, Kenya’s Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) said it is opposed to a proposed government structure in the draft constitution.

The group said the proposal is bloated and will be a burden on the taxpayer.

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