Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and his former Running mate Martha Karua could secure slots in Parliament if a petition filed at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) sails through.
Authored by a Nairobi architect, Nyongesa Makhanu, the petition dated September 30, 2022, proposes that the Constitution be changed to allow Presidential candidate runners up secure a slot as a Nominated MP in the National Assembly.
The petitioner also seeks to have the runners up’s running mate automatically nominated to the Senate.
If his petition goes through, the former Prime Minister would make a comeback in the 13th Parliament, 10 years since he represented Lang’ata Constituency between 1997 and 2013. Between 2008 and 2013, Raila doubled as an MP as well as the Prime Minister.
For Martha Karua, however, it would be her first time in the Senate since the advent of Devolution in 2013 in line with the 2010 Constitution.
Makhanu, in his petition to IEBC headed by Wafula Chebukati, also seeks to change the election date to the third week of December from the current August.
He defended his proposal arguing that December was the most suitable date since it had minimal effect on the economic being of the country as well as the school calendar and work schedules.
“That holding presidential election on the Second Tuesday of August affects national economic activities negatively, particularly the tourism sector because it clashes with the season for the wildebeest migration in the Serengeti and Masai Mara ecosystem.
“That holding presidential elections and General Election after Jamhuri Day and before Christmas will be more in synchrony with the national economic, financial, and academic calendars,” he stated.
The voting date was moved to August as the country sought to have as many Kenyans registered as voters in their current residencies as opposed to upcountry travel which then affects service delivery.
Makhanu, however, argued that the voting style in Kenya is tribal and leads to voter apathy
Other changes to the Constitution the Nairobian is seeking is to make the presidency rotational, to allow every tribe to lead in future.
He argued that the Constitution should bar candidates from the tribes of the sitting President as well as that his/her predecessor for a better representation. He, however, exempted the sitting President at the time of the new law’s enactment.