NASA chief Raila Odinga’s call for a six-month transitional government has caused an uproar and Jubilee immediately repudiated power-sharing as “wishful thinking”.
Jubilee says there’s no crisis or emergency, Raila’s holding the country to ransom, wants another Grand Coalition (2008-2013) and is creating turmoil so he can illegally enter government through the back door.
Ratcheting up the pressure, the former Prime Minister wants an interim government to prepare for a fresh, free and credible presidential election. It would spearhead repeal of the winner-take-all presidential system and substitute a parliamentary system.
He has already launched a National Resistance Movement and called for demonstrations in Nairobi tomorrow to push for electoral reforms.
A transitional, interim or provisional government is an emergency governmental authority set up to manage a political transition.
The former Prime Minister in the Grand Coalition wants this transitional government to be all-inclusive, with representatives from both NASA and Jubilee. It would only last six months, until the election.
“What we are calling for requires a longer time. We are calling for, in the meantime, that we need to have an interim arrangement of government in which we will involve representatives from both parties,” Raila told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday.
Raila is in the US for a series of meetings, some with with elected leaders to whom he will explain his view of the Kenyan political turmoil since the August 8 General Election. His handlers call it a diplomatic coup.
The Supreme Court overturned President Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory on August 8, citing massive irregularities and legalities. Raila rejected that poll and the October 26 rerun as shams and charades. He does not recognise Uhuru Kenyatta as President.
“We think six months will be required to carry out all these changes we want in this country in order to have proper a free and fair election,” the ODM chief said
But Jubilee MPs accused Raila of using unconstitutional means to create a Grand Coalition.
The onslaught was led by National Assembly majority leader Aden Duale and Senate majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen
“Kenyans voted on October 26 [in the presidential rerun] and elected the President. Raila Odinga should forget a share of government. We are tired of this gerrymandering and desperate manoeuvres for nusu mkate,” Duale yesterday told the Star
“Kenya is not a failed state, we have a Constitution that has not collapsed. It is wishful thinking of Tinga (Raila) to imagine Kenya is in political crisis,” he said.
Murkomen told the Star Raila’s latest demand confirms he only wants to get into government “through the backdoor”.
“You can see the country is calm and the Supreme Court will make its decision in 11 days. So the crisis Raila is talking about is a figment of his fertile imagination.
“We do not agree with NASA that this should be a single-party state. Let Raila take his place in
A transitional government can be formed, usually appointed, in cases of new nations, civil or foreign wars or regime collapse.
Although Kenya’s Constitution doesn’t provide for an interim government, Raila said it was the only way to navigate uncharted waters and perilous times.
Uhuru won the rerun with 98 per cent of the vote after Raila boycotted the poll, saying it would not be fair.
Uhuru faces two Supreme Court petitions challenging his rerun victory. The David Maraga-led court has until November 20 to rule.
On Tuesday Raila said the provisional government would spearhead constitutional reforms to introduce a ‘fairer’ parliamentary system. This, he said, would cure the problem of exclusion of communities the divisive, cutthroat battles every five years.
Raila said a parliamentary system would accommodate Kenya’s tribal diversity.
“A pure presidential system enhances ethnicity because each community believes they are not safe unless their man is at the top,” he told Reuters.
It requires a referendum to change the Constitution.
“We had a new Constitution enacted in 2010, now is the time to revisit it,” Raila told Reuters.
The NASA chief said he was open to talks with Kenyatta to review the Constitution.
“If they (Jubilee) are ready for serious discussions, then we are ready,” Raila said.
“If they want it to be protracted, it will be protracted. I assure them we will not surrender, our resistance movement will continue until we achieve what we want,” he said.
Speaking to the media at Parliament Buildings yesterday, nominated MP David ole Sankok, MP Gabriel Kago (Githunguri), Ruweida Obbo (Lamu woman representative), MP Francis Waititu (Juja) and nominated MP Gideon Keter also dismissed Raila’s prescription.
“We condemn the opposition’s hypocrisy and hope they will engage on a platform of sincerity for the good of our nation,” Sankok said on behalf of he group.
Sankok said dialogue between Uhuru and Raila took place through the ballot in the presidential rerun .
“There is no other road to State House except through the ballot. Raila should not be allowed to hold this country at ransom.”
Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi said, “We cannot amend the Constitution to accommodate an individual who chose not to participate in an election … Nowhere in the Constitution do we have such a provision (for interim government).”
Raila warned that should the Supreme Court clear Uhuru, it would be nearly impossible for him to govern a country in which half of the people feel left out.
“He will not have the confidence of the people because in this repeat poll he got less than 30 per cent of the electorate. That is a vote of no-confidence so he will be President for part of the country,” Raila said.
In the parliamentary system, the party that gets the majority in Parliament automatically forms the government, with a Prime Minister elected by MPs as head of government.
Jubilee has also reportedly been been mulling constitutional amendments and parliamentary system.
There is also an hybrid system with ceremonial president elected through a popular vote and a PM elected by Parliament.
An interim government, Raila says, would be the only solution to the current political standoff.
He said it would reconstitute the besieged IEBC and strengthen other institutions before a snap election in February.
An interim government would evoke the 2007-08 PEV after which retired President Mwai Kibaki was forced into a government of national unity with Raila’s ODM party.
That Grand Coalition midwifed the 2010 Constitution.
Raila was named Prime Minister the arrangement crafted to end a political standoff sparked by a disputed presidential election and near civil war.
Some 1,300 Kenyans were killed in the PEV and move than 500,000 were displaced.