DP Ruto Proposes that the referendum be held in 2022 alongside General Election

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BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,2ND DEC,2020-Deputy president William Ruto has  Proposed that the referendum be held in 2022 alongside General Election; says available resources be redirected to mitigate Covid-19.
Ruto and his allies say all outstanding issues including bloated govt need to be resolved through consensus before referendum.
Ruto has called for  further amendments to the BBI Bill.According to him,”The referendum question can be included in the general election as the 7th question. We recommend that we have the referendum at the general elections and this will be at no extra cost for the IEBC,” he said.

Ruto said they want to be persuaded why they cannot do the referendum in 2022.

“These are proposals we are putting in good faith.We appreciate that there has been a lot of push and pull. We are not making any demands; we are putting our case and believe we have a strong case.There is room to further amend this document. It is never too late to amend it,” he said.

Addressing the media on Wednesday, Ruto said everything that needed to be said has been said.

“…We care far too much for this country to reduce this matter to a Yes or No contest. We are of the view that the referendum should be held alongside the 2022 General Election…” a statement by Ruto and his allies read.

Ruto said Kenyans are concerned about the size of Parliament and the Executive.

“Apart from the 47 women elected in the Senate, we propose that we retain the 47 women elected in National Assembly. This would reduce the size of Parliament,” he said.

“I am aware that many people want us to take a position on this document (BBI) and I want to tell you that where we are now is a point that requires a lot of thinking, a lot of reflection, a lot of consultation and that is what we were doing.”

Ruto met 146 leaders including governors, senators and MPs over efforts to build consensus on the Building Bridges Initiative.

In his opening remarks in the meeting which took place at his Karen residence in Nairobi county, Ruto said there was still room for consensus in the BBI report.

“We have made progress in the document so that it accommodates everyone. Our goal is to ensure that we do not have a contested referendum,” noted the Deputy President.

However, he said there were still some contentious issues in the BBI that needed to be addressed such as marginalisation, a bloated government, among others.

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