Kenya's Supreme court begins hearing constitutional review bill appeal

3 months ago 3196

Kenya's Supreme Court on Tuesday began hearing a controversial constitutional review bill that has been at the heart of politics for several years in the East African country.

Known as the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), this revision plans to create new positions in the executive (a prime minister, two deputy prime ministers and an opposition leader) and to increase the number of parliamentarians (from 290 to 360).

According to the outgoing president Uhuru Kenyatta, who initiated the project, this opening up of power would dilute the "winner takes all" rule, which he considers to be the cause of the post-election conflicts in Kenya.

Known as the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), this revision plans to create new positions in the executive (a prime minister, two deputy prime ministers and an opposition leader) and to increase the number of parliamentarians (from 290 to 360).

According to the outgoing president Uhuru Kenyatta, who initiated the project, this opening up of power would dilute the "winner takes all" rule, which he considers to be the cause of the post-election conflicts in Kenya.

But the bill, which was passed by parliament in May and was to be put to a referendum, was taken to court by its critics.

There was the first hearing and then a court of appeal ruled that the president did not have the constitutional right to initiate such a process. The court also ruled that Kenyatta could be sued in civil court for illegally initiating the process.

The hearings in the Supreme Court are scheduled to continue until Thursday. The judges will then announce the date of their decision.

Analysts say that even if the Supreme Court rules in favour of the government and allows the law to be put to a referendum, it cannot be held before the elections scheduled for 9 August.

But since its launch in 2018, the BBI has reshaped the Kenyan political landscape.

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