Monday, December 7, 2009
A long-awaited draft constitution has been released in Kenya, the first step in a full review of a document which many Kenyans say gives the president nearly unchecked power over state affairs. Kenyans have been calling for a new constitution since the early 1990s to replace one dating back to the eve of independence from Britain in 1963, which critics say encourages corruption and tribalism because of the president's immense powers. The public will have 30 days to scrutinize the draft and forward proposal and amendments to their respective Members of Parliament. A referendum on the Constitution is expected to be held in 2010 to determine whether the new constitution is acceptable. Article 53, which provides for freedom of association, deals not only with the basic requirements of freedom of associations for individuals, but also addresses the need to provide ease of registration for civil society organizations. The text is available in the ICCSL Documentation Center.