A member of the ruling United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party has revealed plans to scrap the presidential term limit, sparking a storm on social media.
Fafi MP Salah Yakub suggests that the cap should be on age and not the number of years one has served.
Daily Nation reports that the MP made the comments during a relief food distribution drive in Garissa County over the weekend.
Apparently, some MPs in the UDA party are working on a Bill to amend the current law that restricts the presidential term limit to 2-five year terms and replace it with an age limit of 75 years.
“We want to tell Kenyans that the limit on two terms should be relooked. We want it to be changed to an age limit where when one gets to 75 years then he or she cannot contest," the MP was quoted as saying.
“We will come up with an amendment Bill to try to change this because we want the requirement to be on age limit and not terms. If a president is doing a good job, then he or she should not be limited by the terms,” he added.
Without revealing names, the lawmaker claimed the MPs behind the plot to amend the constitution, have been holding closed-door meetings to deliberate on the proposal. It's, however, not clear if the MPs' proposal has the blessings of the party.
If the MPs succeed in their bid, they would give President William Ruto, who assumed office in September, the latitude to seek three more terms in office. The 55-year-old has, however, not expressed intention to contest for the presidency beyond the 10-year-term stipulated in the constitution.
The proposal of such a magnitude, would, however, have to be supported by two-thirds of members in the National Assembly and the Senate before being subjected to a referendum, where Kenyans will have the final say.
The 10-year limit was introduced ahead of the 1992 elections following the repeal of section 2A of the old constitution. The limit was also retained by the drafters of the 2010 Constitution.
Already, the proposal to remove the term limit has attracted heavy criticism from members of the opposition, who have vowed to resist it.
Junet Mohamed, the Minority Whip in the National Assembly said, “This madness of Kenya Kwanza will come to an end very soon. They are talking about many things but once their minds settle, they will realise that they have work to do and stop all this monkey business they have been taking the country through in the last two months."
Makueni MP Senator Dan Maanzo also poured cold water on the proposal terming it “totally ridiculous” and next to impossible.
“Where will such an amendment pass through? He is just looking for cheap publicity. It will be a waste of time,” Maanzo said.
A section of Kenyans online has also opposed the proposal saying they would shoot it down.
"When people show you their true colours, believe them. We shall resist the plans to remove term limits. Believe it or not, these dangerous plans will make William a one-term president. Any attempt to change the constitution to make William president for life will fail. Miserably," activist Boniface Mwangi tweeted.
When people show you their true colours, believe them. We shall resist the plans to remove term limits. Believe it or not, this dangerous plans will make William a one term president. Any attempt to change the constitution to make William president for life will fail. Miserably. pic.twitter.com/iP4gWY7z31— The People’s Watchman (@bonifacemwangi) November 8, 2022
Lawyer Miguna Miguna said: "A cruel joke. Can’t pass. Won’t pass a referendum. Those mooting this nonsense are desperate to make William Ruto a one-term president. Don’t even imagine it!"