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But don’t panic folks, especially if you are not a Uhuru supporter, you just need to remember what happened last December to realize that although money is important, it will certainly not be the only deciding factor on who the next occupant of State house will be.
Now the main thrust of this post are the remarks that I am told Uhuru made earlier today in Tigania Meru. The deputy prime minister said that a review of constituency boundaries was of utmost importance and should be made top priority.
Well, well. Sounds familiar? Of course it does. In the run up to the general elections of last year the government sponsored a bill that would have seen a review of constituency boundaries increasing them in number just before the elections. The bill was resoundingly defeated despite the clever strategy of trying to sugar-coat it with a clause that would have ensured that dozens of women legislators would now be seating in the 10th parliament.
The next question we need to ask ourselves is why was the government in such a hurry to pass such critical bills when the general elections were only a few months away? The answer to that question will also give you the answer to the question why Uhuru and his cronies are bringing it up now, even as the momentum of the Kibaki succession race continues to pick up speed.
Folks, even if the topic of constituency boundaries bores you to tears you had better sit up and pay attention because this is an issue that will certainly not go away. And it is one that will greatly affect the future of
For a long time now, leading central province politicians have strongly felt that there is urgent need for the number of constituencies to be increased on the basis of looking at numbers rather than just geography. If this plan were to be followed the immediate result would be more power to the big communities and in the current set up, it would give PNU strongholds many more parliamentary seats than they have at the moment.
In other words somebody somewhere is already casting his eyes into the post-Kibaki era where there will be no coalition government and they want to ensure that their principal has the teeth in parliament to be able to govern.
In any case, the Bomas draft (which we have been told is the basis of the new initiative for a new constitution) is essentially a parliamentary democracy meaning that the leader of government will emerge from the party that produces the majority MPs. So number of MPs one who wants to govern has, is very critical.
But Kenyans must not lose the downside of this push for more constituencies. The most obvious disadvantages have to do with budgetary constraints. At a time when the country is reeling from the burden of the huge coalition government cabinet, what we are saying here is that we want to further increase the costs of government even more steeply with the 11th parliament set to have well over 300 members. It also means that smaller communities and minority interests will most probably be drowned by the sheer numbers of those communities with very high populations.
Is this what we want?
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