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Monday, 10 July, 2000, 14:27 GMT 15:27 UK
Campaign to keep Moi in power
President Moi voting in a past election
There is speculation that Moi could call a snap poll
Kenyan ministers have called for changes to the constitution to allow President Daniel arap Moi to extend his stay in power.

President Moi's second term in office was due to end in 2002.

The calls for extending his term have only fuelled speculations that President Moi intends to call a snap election in which he would defend his seat.

The multiparty consitution introduced in 1992 limits the president to serving two five-year terms.

When that constitution took effect, Mr Moi had already served for 14 years, following the death of founding President Jomo Kenyatta.

Campaign rallies

At the weekend, cabinet ministers Francis Nyenze, Julius Sunkuli and Isaac Ruto, as well as several members of parliament, held rallies in the Rift Valley, Coast and Eastern provinces where they urged that President Moi should be allowed to seek re-election when his current term expires.

Environment Minister Nyenze told a fundraising rally in eastern Kenya's Kitui district on Sunday that Moi's term should be extended "until a replacement acceptable to all tribes was found."


Kenya's parliament buildings
Parliament holds the key to Moi's tenure

A similar message went out in Narok in the Rift Valley, where Mr Sunkuli - minister of state for defence in the President's Office - said the ruling party could make constitutional amendments to keep the presidency "where Kanu wants".

The current push to re-elect President Moi was triggered by a Minister in the Office of the President, Sharrif Nassir.

The minister has already printed and began to distribute T-shirts bearing campaign slogans for President Moi.

Snap poll

There are question marks over a budgetary allocation of nearly $10m as political expenditure.

When asked asked by the BBC in Nairobi, the chairman of the electoral commission, Samuel Kivuitu defended the allocation saying his commission needed "to prepare in advance".

He however dismissed talks of a snap poll as irresponsible.



There are no plans for snap elections. Politicians should avoid irresponsible talk

Samuel Kivuitu, Chairman, Electoral Commission

The opposition says that President Moi's tight grip on power is propelled by personal fears and those of his cronies of being brought to justice for the financial scandals and political killings committed by his regime.

Thus they believe, President Moi and his ruling party would use all means at their disposal to ensure a constitutional amendment to enable him remain in office, perhaps indefinately.


Kenyans queuing to vote
Waiting to be summoned for a snap poll?

Talk of a snap poll might not prove to be attractive to most Kenyans given the severe famine that threatens the lives of nearly 23 million Kenyans.

The Kenyan economy is on its knees with the donor community still unwilling to release nearly $200m of the much-needed donor aid.

The situation has been worsened by power rationing due to the current prolonged drought and mismanagement of the energy sector.

Opposition leaders have issued a warning that any attempts to extend the presidential term could trigger violence in the country.

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See also:

13 Sep 99 | Africa
Poll says Moi should go in 2002
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