Kenyans Look Toward Referendum On Constitution

April 2, 2010, midnight

Kenya's National Assembly has approved a draft constitution that would impose checks on Presidential power, among other reforms, if ratified at a yet-to-be-called referendum this year. The new document would create a Senate, a permanent Supreme Court, legislative oversight of Cabinet appointments, legislative impeachment powers, elected county governments, an expanded bill of rights, prohibition on joint membership of Parliament and the Cabinet, and other checks-and-balances. The draft is the result of 12 months of deliberations by a Committee of Experts. Institutional reform has been a key issue in Keyna for nearly two decades, with the last such referendum failing in 2005. Violence rocked the country after a disputed 2007 election, culminating in the creation of a Prime Ministership, which went to opposition Presidential candidate Raila ODINGA.

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