Tuesday, March 30, 2010


NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 30 - Most Kenyans believe the draft Constitution should be amended before they are asked to vote on it.

The findings of a new poll released on Tuesday by Synovate Research indicated that 52 percent of Kenyans wanted the draft law revised by Parliament before it is passed.

“Twenty five percent know nothing about the Constitution, 19 percent want it passed as it is, and four percent don’t know,” the research said.

While the poll did not ask what issues required amending, it found that as far as boundaries were concerned, most Kenyans were against the number of constituencies being increased.

In fact, 68 percent were against any boundary change while 54 percent wanted the number of constituencies reduced in the first place.

Only 12 percent of Kenyans support the inclusion of Kadhi courts in the Constitution with the bulk saying they were either not aware of the Muslim courts or felt their inclusion was a non-issue.

Kadhi courts, abortion, devolution and governance have been the major issues in contention that have caused huge rifts among the political class, religious groups and medical practitioners.

Due to the differences, MPs have introduced over 150 amendments to the draft and it is unclear if they will sail through since each one of them requires the support of 145 MPs to pass.

The poll results came as MPs prepare to vote on the proposed amendments on Wednesday.

The research further revealed that most Kenyans would like the grand coalition government to continue until the next election even if a new Constitution came into effect.

“Sixty percent of Kenyans want the government to last until 2012, and 35 percent do not want it to last. Others had no comment or were not sure,” the survey said.

The poll was conducted between March 21 and 26 among 2003 respondents.

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