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Kenya’s President Kibaki Signs Constitutional Amendments Into Law

Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki has signed into law two constitutional amendments which would see him share power with opposition leader Raila Odinga. This comes after parliament Tuesday unanimously voted for a power sharing deal, creating a position of prime minister with executive powers to be occupied by Odinga. Some political analysts say the move is a bold attempt to reconcile the nation after the December 27 disputed presidential election.

The opposition Orange Democratic Change (ODM) claimed incumbent President Kibaki rigged the election, which sparked mass protests that resulted into the loss of lives and property. David Musila is a member of Kenya’s parliament. He tells reporter Peter Clottey from the capital, Nairobi that the amendments would make Kenya a better than before.

“First of all, the first one and most important was the constitutional amendment bill. What we have done this afternoon is to amend our constitution and create a position of a prime minister and two deputies, just below the vice president. And then we have gone ahead and also passed a bill, which is an act of parliament for reconciliation to put on board the agreement reached between the Honorable Raila Odinga and President Kibaki,” Musila noted.

He said it would be important for the new coalition government to cater to the needs of ordinary Kenyans.

“What Kenyans should expect from today is that there’ll be new kind of governance. We would have a prime minister sharing power with the president and at the same time we are returning the country to normalcy. As you know, we’ve had violence and blood shed, and we have a lot of ideas. So Kenyans should expect that solutions to these problems would be found by the new government,” he said.

Musila said the creation of the position of prime minister comes with executive powers.

“What it means is that power would be shared. The prime minister would come from the opposition party so the government and the opposition joining together to form a coalition. We are making a coalition government so that everybody is coming on board, therefore problems of the country would be resolved,” Musila pointed out.

He said President’s Kibaki’s signing of the bills amending the constitution would set the tone for the country’s reconciliation.

“We expect that the president would assent these laws tomorrow and immediately set the country into motion of reconciliation and resolving problems. Now, we don’t want to return the country to what it was. We want to make it better,” he said.