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LSK opposes Ruto's plan to make constitutional amendments through Parliament

The Law Society of Kenya argued that if President Ruto gets his way, the sovereignty of the people of Kenya will be undermined.

President William Ruto with Law Society of Kenya President Eric Theuri at State House on October 24,2022.

The Law Society of Kenya has opposed proposals by President William Ruto to introduce various amendments to the Constitution through Parliament, without taking Kenyans through a referendum.

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LSK, in a statement, said that the proposed amendments in their nature are critical elements of the constitution and Kenyans should not be excluded in their implementation.

The said amendments include the creation of an Office of the Official Leader of Opposition, the establishment of a formula to guide the computation of the gender ratio in the National Assembly, entrenchment of various funds in the Constitution including the National Government Constituency Development Fund, the Senate Oversight Fund, and the National Government Affirmative Action Fund and an amendment to the Parliament Standing Orders to facilitate the participation of Cabinet Secretaries and Chief Administrative Secretaries in Parliamentary Proceedings.

As the Law Society of Kenya, we are astounded by this move by the President given that the amendments will affect the overall structure of Parliament and the Executive,” the society said.

The LSK noted that the amendments as proposed by the president fall under the scope of Article 10 of the Constitution, which requires a referendum.

The lawyers argue that if the president gets his way, the sovereignty of the people of Kenya will be undermined.

The society called upon Parliament to reject the president’s proposals, which they say are being introduced through the back door.

The proposed amendments are unconstitutional. The amendments are being instituted by the President contrary to the decision in the BBI case and therefore, should not see the light of day in Parliament,” the statement further read.

Additionally, the LSK contended that the position of CAS is under active litigation before the courts and therefore, the standing orders cannot be amended to accommodate a position that does not exist in law.

The lawyers said that Ruto’s proposition undermines the authority of the courts and shakes the confidence of the legal profession and the public in the justice system.

If the President is an advocate of the gender parity principle, he should start by ensuring that the composition of Principal Secretaries is redone to align with what the Constitution dictates,” the society urged.

LSK called upon the president to focus on other issues plaguing the country such as the drought, high levels of unemployment, and increased levels of insecurity, instead of constitutional amendments.

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