6 October 2012

Kenya: Uhuru May Be Sworn in At Hague

Attorney General Githu Muigai has rushed to court to seal a loophole in Presidential election law.

DEPUTY Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta could be sworn in as Kenya's fourth president at the Hague. Three voters yesterday filed a petition at the High Court seeking an order to allow the swearing in of the next president outside the country.

Presently Article 141 of the constitution provides that the president elect will be sworn in between 10am and 2pm in public in the capital city.

"If our preferred candidate becomes the president-elect, and due to some peculiar circumstances he or she is not in the capital city, for the swearing in there is likely to be a constitutional crisis," read the court papers filed by Charles Munyui, Kamotho Njenga and Paul Mwangi.

Uhuru and Eldoret North MP William Ruto want to run for president for TNA and URP but are due to stand trial in the Hague starting on April 10 and 11 respectively. The likely second round run-off for the presidential election will be on April 11.

The petition, to be heard on November 2, has been filed against the Attorney General Githu Muigai and Justice minister Eugene Wamalwa so that they are directed to amend the Assumption of the Office of the President Act, 2012.

The three, who filed their case through Ashiruma and Company Advocates, argue that Parliament was not alive to such peculiar circumstances where the president elect could not travel to the capital city when it was passing the legislation.

They argue that Parliament should have provided that the swearing in ceremony can be conducted at any other public place in Kenya or at a Kenyan embassy abroad.

"It shall be disastrous and the country shall be thrown into a constitutional crisis if the president elect is not able to be sworn in or attend the swearing in ceremony at the capital city due to peculiar circumstances beyond his or her control or that of the Assumption of the Office of the President committee".

They want the court to declare the sections as inconsistent with the constitution of Kenya and therefore null and void. Uhuru and Ruto are facing multiple charges of crimes against humanity arising out of the post-election violence of 2007/8.

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