PNU rejects creation of PM post to end crisis
Published on February 20, 2008, 12:00 am
By Joseph Murimi and Ayub Savula
The Government Parliamentary Group (GPG) has ruled out the creation of prime minister’s position as the key to unlocking the political impasse.
But the GPG said they were ready to accommodate or co-opt ODM members in Government for the sake peace without sharing executive powers.
Spokesman, Mr Danson Mungatana, said the accommodation of the Opposition was distinct from power sharing, saying it had happened before during the Moi regime.
“The President should form a government to accommodate the Opposition for the sake of peace. This is distinct from power sharing. This is our negotiating position,” he said.
He said they would stand by President Kibaki, insisting co-option of ODM MPs in Government was not a new thing.
He said retired President Moi did it when he co-opted NDP, then led by Mr Raila Odinga, in his Government.
Mungatana said all agreements from the Kofi Annan-led talks must be made within the Constitution, which MPs have sworn to defend.
The meeting at Old Parliament chambers was chaired by Vice-President, Mr Kalonzo Musyoka, and brought together more than 50 MPs from PNU and affiliate members.
The meeting was for the Government negotiating team to brief the MPs on the progress of the talks and prepare for another with President Kibaki.
Other agenda included the proposed Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission and the Elections Independent Review Committee.
Mungatana said they were committed to the talks and their position was that the President accommodates ODM in Government.
He said any issue outside the Constitution (read premier’s position) must be treated as long-term and subject to parliamentary debate and finally a referendum.
Igembe South MP, Mr Mithika Rinturi, said they suggested that President Kibaki assigns powers to ODM members he is comfortable working with.
Rinturi said the model proposed by ODM has never worked anywhere in the world and sharing of the Cabinet slots on a 50-50 basis was not feasible.
He said they also took issue with Annan, whom they accused of inviting people to the talks without involving all parties.
They said he was putting the Government team in a vulnerable position, especially when they were opposed to such personalities.
Transport minister, Mr Ali Chirau Mwakwere, said: “The creation of an executive PM amounts to establishing two centres of power in the Government.”
He said if the PM position was to be created with some powers, this would require constitutional amendment and it must be subjected to a referendum.