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TND Party Leader’s Proposal for One 7-Year Presidential Term Generates Debate in Kenya


May 5, 2023

The New Democrats party leader Thuo Mathenge has called for a constitutional amendment on the presidential term limit.

Speaking to media on Thursday, Mathenge proposed one 7-year term limit and scraping of the two 5-year terms.

He argued that the current term limit is not enough to ensure effective service delivery, as leaders tend to spend most of their first term strategizing for their re-election.

“We should amend the constitution to ensure that the president and governors rule for one seven-year term instead of a five years cycle then seek re-election, this will help to ensure they fully focus on service delivery,” Mathenge said.

A proposal of such magnitude would, however, require the proposer to marshal a two-thirds majority in both Houses of Parliament, as well as a referendum.

Mathenge noted that the proposed amendment would require a two-thirds majority in both houses of Parliament, as well as a simple majority of Kenyans in a referendum.

He called on the elected leaders in the bipartisan talks to come up with an inclusive report on election reforms that would be favourable to all parties involved.

He said that the talks should not only revolve around Azimio leader Raila Odinga and Kenya Kwanza but address all issues affecting Kenyans.

“We should take advantage of the talks and amend the constitution on areas which aren’t favourable and this will help rescue the country, from post-election tussles,” he said.

Mathenge also warned against leaders proposing for timeless residential term limit.

Political analyst and columnist Albert Kasembeli echoed Mathenge’s sentiments, stating that one 7-year presidential term limit would save Kenya time and resources spent on campaigning for the re-election.

“This is a very good strategy to save Kenyans money and resources wasted for re-election bids,” he said.

However, Kasembeli noted that there have been dissenting voices within the political sphere; with some leaders calling for the scrapping of the presidential term limit altogether.

Last year, Fafi MP Salah Yakub revealed plans by some UDA leaders seeking to scrap the presidential term limit, saying the cap should be on age, not period of service.

Former UDA chairperson Johnson Muthama dismissed the proposal, noting that they remain supportive of the current term limit


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