21 April 2011

Kenya: Kibaki Not Interested in Seeking Third Term

Photo: Ofeibea Quist-Arcton/
Buildings at State House, the Kenyan presidential residence.

Nairobi — President Kibaki has no intention of running for another term, the government said Thursday.

The clarification came on the day a local daily, The Star, in its lead story claimed that the President, who is serving the last of constitutionally-allowed two terms, would consider running again if Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta is barred by the ongoing ICC cases.

The newspaper quoted unnamed sources within the Office of the President as well as Environment minister John Michuki as supporting the third term bid for President Kibaki. It claimed several informal meetings had been held by four officials to explore the third term possibility.

"President Mwai Kibaki does not intend to run for re-election, contrary to sensational and manufactured media reports. The President has served this country for most of his life and worked hard to ensure passage of a new Constitution, which does not allow a person to serve more than two terms," the President said in a statement through Government spokesman Alfred Mutua.

"The government wishes wananchi to know that there are no plans being hatched anywhere to extend the President's term and media reports to that effect are cheap propaganda," the President added.

The Constitution bars, in Section 12 (3) of the transitional Clauses, the President from running for the State House job at the next General Election expected next year.

It reads "."The Person who was elected as President before the effective date of the new constitution is not eligible to stand to be elected as President under this constitution."

President Kibaki was first elected to State House in December 2002 under the Narc banner, a coalition of parties that were opposed to former President Moi's choice of Uhuru Kenyatta to run on the KANU ticket.

An acrimonious 2007 presidential elections saw President Kibaki declared the winner under controversial circumstances, sparking the post election violence in which 1133 people were killed and another 650,000 displaced from their homes.

Both the former constitution and the current one that Kenyans promulgated on August 27, 2010 limit the president's tenure to two-five year terms.

It is believed that Mr Kenyatta is the president's preferred successor. However, the pending International Criminal Court charges against Mr Kenyatta could lock him out of the 2012 presidential election.

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