Less Than One Third of Kenyans Would Vote to Change Constitution

Less than one third of Kenyans would vote for constitutional changes that President Uhuru Kenyatta and erstwhile rival Raila Odinga say will create a more inclusive government and fend off ethnic violence that regularly overshadows elections.

Of 1,550 respondents polled by Tifa Research, 29% said they would vote “yes” in a referendum later this year to pass the so-called Building Bridges Initiative proposals. About a third would vote “no” and 42% said they would not take part or were not sure they would participate, the Nairobi-based pollster said in an emailed statement.

“There is still considerable work that needs to be done by champions of both of ‘yes’ or ‘no’ campaigns to win over Kenyans to their side,” said Maggie Ireri, Tifa’s chief executive officer.

Some of the key proposed constitutional amendments include reintroducing the post of prime minister and two deputies, creating the position of an official opposition leader for the runner-up presidential candidate, and allocating more cash to the nation’s 47 counties.

There was generally low knowledge of the suggested changes with 84% of respondents not familiar with the BBI contents, Tifa said. The survey interviewed respondents between Dec. 8 and Dec. 19 and has a margin of error of 2%.

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