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Raila trashes Ruto's proposed constitutional amendments

Raila Odinga has rejected proposed constitutional amendments to create an opposition role through Parliament

Raila Odinga speaking during an interview with Trevor Ombija

Azimio La Umoja One Kenya chief Raila Odinga has announced that his team plans to reintroduce the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) in January 2023, claiming that it will be participatory and inclusive.

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In an interview with Citizen TV, Odinga stated that his team will begin a constitutional review process that will address all of the issues that were left out in the original BBI, which was jointly pushed by Odinga and former President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Odinga criticized President William Ruto's recent call for the creation of the office of the Official Leader of Opposition, stating that the position cannot be established by Parliament without a referendum.

Odinga accused Ruto of hypocrisy, pointing out that Ruto opposed the BBI, which included a similar proposal for the Leader of the Opposition and the expansion of the Executive.

"We are going to initiate a constitutional review which is going to be participatory. We're going to come up with a constituent assembly that is going to do a review.

This constitution is now 12 years old, (and) it now requires a review because now we know where the shoe is pinching as a people but we're not going to do it at the behest of Kenya Kwanza administration,” he said.

However, Odinga made it clear that his team will not be swayed by any attempts to bribe or entice them into bypassing constitutional provisions in order to serve certain interests.

"We are not going to be enticed because I am going to be given an office in Parliament. I have had an office as a Prime Minister. It is nothing so exciting to me and we cannot be bribed to circumvent the constitutional provisions just to satisfy certain interests," he added.

National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang'ula and Senate's Amason Kingi have already directed various departmental committees to review President Ruto's proposals for law reform, which include the gender rule, the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF), the position of the Leader of Official Opposition, and parliamentary oversight of the Executive.

The committee's report will be tabled on the floor of the House when Parliament resumes in February 2023.

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