President William Ruto will on Thursday table his proposals on the creation of the office of the Official Leader of Opposition.
This comes after the Raila Odinga-led Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition announced plans to draft a Bill and lobbied the government to ensure that it passes in Parliament.
The draft document by the Azimio committee seeks to amend Article 260 of the Constitution to include the office of the leader of opposition under the state office category.
While an official Bill is yet to be tabled, President Ruto urged MPs to rally behind the proposal during a Kenya Kwanza Parliamentary Group meeting. He said the Bill would make the minority more effective in keeping the government in check.
National Assembly Deputy Majority Leader, Owen Baya said: “To have an acceptable system in a democracy you need a strong opposition that is well resourced, has avenues to reach government and engage in national dialogue without hindrances. That is why we are confident such a position in this country will take the country forward.”
UDA National Chairman Johnson Muthama on his part said: “The President himself has repeatedly stated that he wants a strong opposition to check his government and as a party, we share his vision. I’ve not heard of any approach to our side to support that Bill, but if that request comes to me, I will sanction it because for us to have a fair government that serves its people effectively, opposition must be allowed, and that’s democracy that we all cherish.”
In its proposals, Azimio wants the leader of the official opposition be allowed to address Parliament annually.
The Office, according to Raila’s camp, will receive funding from the Exchequer. It will also have powers to nominate persons to constitutional statutory commissions.
The official opposition leader will also have immunity from prosecution.