Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta has refuted claims that his party is interested in amending the constitution to allow him stay in power, after his term expires in 2022.
Kenyatta, who is serving his second and final term, told international broadcaster, CNN that he is ‘not interested in a third term’.
‘‘People are talking about Constitutional change, but they’re talking about constitutional change not necessarily because they are desirous for the president to seek a third term,’‘ Kenyatta told CNN’s Richard Quest.
People are talking about Constitutional change, but they’re talking about constitutional change not necessarily because they are desirous for the president to seek a third term.
The president explained that ongoing calls to amend the constitution are fuelled by a desire to reduce the cost of running government.
‘‘They are talking about constitutional change because of issues related to the costs of running this new constitution, et cetera. Those are the issues on the table.’‘
The interview also addressed several issues including the reconciliation project with the opposition and debt to China.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga, who lost the 2013 and 2017 presidential elections to Kenyatta, has been leading calls for a referendum to amend the constitution.
Media in Kenya have recently reported that members of Kenyatta’s Jubilee party are proposing a constitutional amendment that would create the position of an executive prime minister, which would then be occupied by the current president.
Constitutional amendments, often providing ways for incumbent presidents to extend their stay in office have sparked violent protests in several African nations including Uganda, Comoros, Togo and Burkina Faso.