#Thread: Our chair Omingo Magara articulated The Centre for Multiparty Democracy's memorandum to the Building Bridges to Unity Advisory Taskforce consultative meeting with stakeholders held today at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre. #BuildingBridges
The Building Bridges to a New Kenyan Nation is premised on the fact that Kenya has made progress towards consolidating its democratic landscape, but much remains to be done in addressing underlying challenges that threaten political, social and economic standing of the country.
Our democratization process and stability have been characterized by challenges that are well outlined in the Joint Communique of March 9th 2018 by H.E. the President Uhuru Kenyatta and the former Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga.
Our position is that there is need to utilize this opportunity and institute a structured, people-centered and all-inclusive national dialogue process on the following issues:
I. The Electoral System
II. Devolution
III. Constitution of Kenya audit
I. The Electoral System
Electoral systems ought to be of central interest to anyone concerned with the operation of democratic systems of Government because they structure and condition some of the important democratic institutional setups of a country. #BuildingBridges
Kenya has been experiencing electoral violence since the introduction of multiparty politics in 1992. While the country enacted a new Constitution in 2010, the country’s electoral system primarily remained the First Past The Post (FPTP). #BuildingBridges
In Kenya, First Past The Post has contributed towards weakening of key institutions of democratic governance mainly political parties and continues to pose serious challenges and distortions... #BuildingBridges
First Past The Post has excluded minorities from fair representation. As a rule, under FPTP, parties put up the most broadly acceptable candidate in a particular constituency so as to avoid alienating the majority of electors. #BuildingBridges
In consequence, because Kenyans voting behavior does dovetail with ethnic divisions, then the exclusion from representation of members of ethnic minority groups is increasingly destabilizing for the political system as a whole.
First Past The Post excluded women from legislature. ‘Most broadly acceptable candidate’ syndrome has affected the ability of women to be elected to legislative office because they are less likely to be selected as candidates by male-dominated party structures. #BuildingBridges
Although the evidence across the world suggests that women are less likely to be elected to the legislature under plurality/majority systems than under PR ones... #BuildingBridges
Data from two studies by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in 2004 and 2013 is worth mentioning: whereas women had representation to 15.6% of the seats of the low chambers in the different parliaments in 2004, this percentage amounts to 20.1% by 2012. #BuildingBridges
Comparison made in 2004 in established democracies showed that the average of women in the legislatures of countries with majority systems was 14.4%... #BuildingBridges
The quantity increased to 27.6% in countries with proportional systems, almost double; in this same comparison in 2012, the gap decreases slightly as the average of women in legislatures with majority system is 14% and 25% in proportional systems. #BuildingBridges
In part, this may be explained by the implementation of policies that have regulated or promoted gender equity within countries, such as having a certain amount of seats reserved for women. #BuildingBridges
First Past The Post has encouraged development of political parties based on clan, ethnicity or region, which base campaigns and policy platforms on conceptions that are attractive to majority of people in their area or region but exclude or are hostile to others #BuildingBridges
This has been an ongoing problem in African countries like Malawi and Kenya, where large communal groups tend to be regionally concentrated. #BuildingBridges
The country is thus divided into geographically separate party strongholds, with little incentive for parties to make appeals outside their home region and cultural–political base. #BuildingBridges
By and large, the FPTP system has raised stakes in electoral competition particularly Presidential Elections. #BuildingBridges
First Past the Post has been the basis for the country’s ethnic mobilization of voters, divisive politics and heightened sense of discrimination especially in public appointments at National and County levels. #BuildingBridges
Campaign financing law in Kenya: It’s no-brainer that rife corruption has affected the viability of Kenya’s democracy with most mega corruption scandals centrally placed in the financing of political activity. #BuildingBridges
The issues tied to the impact of money on politics in general and on elections and mechanisms of representation in particular... #BuildingBridges
Impact of money on Politics: illegal financing, buying influence, conflicts of interest, the profound inequities that may shape electoral contests... #BuildingBridges
Impact of money on politics impact on the consolidation or weakening of the party systems, the loss of confidence in regulation and with that its impact on the credibility of politicians, legislatures, and executive branches. #BuildingBridges
Strengthen @ORPPKenya and @IEBCKenya:
We acknowledge that there are sufficient policy and legal frameworks to support IEBC and ORPP deliver on their mandates.
@ORPPKenya @IEBCKenya IEBC and ORPP lack public trust, independence and essential political goodwill that is core to their abilities to regulate and manage political parties to contribute to free, fair, transparent and credible electoral process that leads to legitimate/believable electoral outcomes.
@ORPPKenya @IEBCKenya This also includes the conduct of political party primaries and the enforcement of the electoral code of conduct. #BuildingBridges
@ORPPKenya @IEBCKenya We observe that the challenges of the IEBC in managing the General Elections are simply a culmination of the shortcomings of intra-party democracy. #BuildingBridges
@ORPPKenya @IEBCKenya Only when political parties are able to democratize their internal processes shall we expect them as main stakeholders, contribute to a democratic electoral process. #BuildingBridges
@FordKenyaSimba @narckenya @JubileePartyK @TheODMparty
@ORPPKenya @IEBCKenya @FordKenyaSimba @narckenya @JubileePartyK @TheODMparty To address these challenges as part of the national stabilizing efforts, we propose as follows:
@ORPPKenya @IEBCKenya @FordKenyaSimba @narckenya @JubileePartyK @TheODMparty We propose strengthening of electoral institutions mainly the @IEBCKenya and @ORPPKenya to discharge their mandates effectively. #BuildingBridges
@ORPPKenya @IEBCKenya @FordKenyaSimba @narckenya @JubileePartyK @TheODMparty With regard to @IEBCKenya, it is a fact that the only time Kenyans universally accepted electoral outcomes was during the 2002 General Elections and the referendum of 2005 on the proposed draft Constitution. #BuildingBridges
@ORPPKenya @IEBCKenya @FordKenyaSimba @narckenya @JubileePartyK @TheODMparty In both situations, the architecture of the Elections Management Body commanded public trust and political goodwill mainly due to its composition as per the IPPG framework. We therefore propose, that the EMB be constituted as per the IPPG framework. #BuildingBridges
@ORPPKenya @IEBCKenya @FordKenyaSimba @narckenya @JubileePartyK @TheODMparty This should be a transitional mechanism probably for only 2 or 3 electoral cycles if the new electoral system will be ratified through a referendum. The Election Management Body should also have an independent fund.
@ORPPKenya @IEBCKenya @FordKenyaSimba @narckenya @JubileePartyK @TheODMparty Political parties require financial resources to sustain and operate a basic party structure. However, the threshold set out in law has left out political parties with significant representation, further constraining the country’s democratic development. #BuildingBridges
@ORPPKenya @IEBCKenya @FordKenyaSimba @narckenya @JubileePartyK @TheODMparty Lack of funding to political parties directly translates to weakening of political parties, particularly in between elections. #BuildingBridges
@ORPPKenya @IEBCKenya @FordKenyaSimba @narckenya @JubileePartyK @TheODMparty Their role in oversight and holding of governance institutions to account is thus grossly weakened. #BuildingBridges
@ORPPKenya @IEBCKenya @FordKenyaSimba @narckenya @JubileePartyK @TheODMparty There is need to review the law on funding of political parties to guarantee funding for political parties that have fully complied with the law and with elected representatives. #BuildingBridges
@ORPPKenya @IEBCKenya @FordKenyaSimba @narckenya @JubileePartyK @TheODMparty The essence is to position political parties to be on the demand side of public accountability, that is, strengthening citizens in holding government to account for performance, behavior and resource use.
@ORPPKenya @IEBCKenya @FordKenyaSimba @narckenya @JubileePartyK @TheODMparty Devolution is a key pillar of the Constitution of Kenya 2010. The Constitution did not only significantly restructure the governance system and redesign how the people relate to it, but also drastically established a devolved system of governance. #BuildingBridges
@ORPPKenya @IEBCKenya @FordKenyaSimba @narckenya @JubileePartyK @TheODMparty Devolution sought to bring government and services closer to the people. Devolution can enhance government responsiveness to the needs of the citizens and provide accountability at the local level, for resources spent through the offices of the county assemblies. #BuildingBridges
@ORPPKenya @IEBCKenya @FordKenyaSimba @narckenya @JubileePartyK @TheODMparty Devolution also serves to diffuse the all-or-nothing character of Kenyan politics - a direct cause of electoral violence in Kenya in the past - as it offered those who lose presidential elections, consolation with county wins. #BuildingBridges
@ORPPKenya @IEBCKenya @FordKenyaSimba @narckenya @JubileePartyK @TheODMparty One major reason to strengthen devolution is the high levels of poverty and unemployment, especially among youth in the rural areas that provide fertile ground not only for extremism but also for organized crime and ethno-political mobilization. #BuildingBridges
@ORPPKenya @IEBCKenya @FordKenyaSimba @narckenya @JubileePartyK @TheODMparty Constitution of Kenya audit:
Kenyans’ desire for a new constitutional dispensation can be traced back to the effects of concentrating power in the presidency without attendant checks and balances. #BuildingBridges
@ORPPKenya @IEBCKenya @FordKenyaSimba @narckenya @JubileePartyK @TheODMparty Kenyans also wanted a change in the political culture, from the politics of impunity and ethnic division to mature and more inclusive politics. #BuildingBridges
@ORPPKenya @IEBCKenya @FordKenyaSimba @narckenya @JubileePartyK @TheODMparty Integrity and mature political leadership were part of the calls for reforms requiring a political and governance system based on integrity, transparency and competence.
@ORPPKenya @IEBCKenya @FordKenyaSimba @narckenya @JubileePartyK @TheODMparty There are several efforts pursuing Constitutional changes. We propose that any changes whether through parliament or referendum be considered only after a full audit of the Constitution has been conducted. #BuildingBridges
@ORPPKenya @IEBCKenya @FordKenyaSimba @narckenya @JubileePartyK @TheODMparty In sum, the audit of the Constitution must reference to what informed Kenyans‘ quest for a new constitutional order. The audit should establish the extent the Constitution has responded to the wishes and aspirations of Kenyans. #BuildingBridges
@ORPPKenya @IEBCKenya @FordKenyaSimba @narckenya @JubileePartyK @TheODMparty Moreover, the audit should assess the social, political and economic impacts of implementing the Constitution with emphasis on whether these impacts are consistent with the objectives that the Constitution set out to achieve.
@ORPPKenya @IEBCKenya @FordKenyaSimba @narckenya @JubileePartyK @TheODMparty The spirit of any proposed changes to the Constitution must be reflected in the national values and aspirations that are identified in the CoK 2010... #BuildingBridges
@ORPPKenya @IEBCKenya @FordKenyaSimba @narckenya @JubileePartyK @TheODMparty Changes to the constitution must adhere to; the rule of law, democracy and participation of the people, human dignity, equity, social justice, sharing and devolution of power, good governance, integrity, transparency, and sustainable development. #BuildingBridges
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