16 February 2013

Kenya: How New President Will Be Sworn in

The Office of the President has released a draft programme for the swearing in of Kenya's fourth president after the March 4 general election.

The event, to be held on March 26 if no petition is filed, will take place at Moi Sports Centre, Kasarani.

"The programme for swearing in of the new president will start at 10am and the function, by law, must be over by 2pm," Head of Civil Service Francis Kimemia said yesterday.

Once the invited guests -- foreign dignitaries, the outgoing president, the Chief Justice, the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary and the president-elect -- have arrived, prayers will be said. The swearing in will follow. The new president will be sworn in by the Chief Registrar in the presence of the Chief Justice. The incumbent president will then hand his predecessor the instruments of power, consisting of a ceremonial sword. As this takes place, the white presidential standard of President Kibaki will be lowered as the new president's standard is raised.

"We ask them to give us their presidential standard in advance so that we do not end up with a leso," Kimemia said at a media briefing.Thereafter, members of the disciplined forces will salute the new president. There will also be a 21-gun salute in honour of the new president.

The deputy president will then be swornin.However, Kimemia said, there will be no instruments of power handed to the deputy.Kibaki has been slotted in the programme to give his farewell address and receive his white presidential standard.

The deputy president will then invite the new president to make his inaugural address, which will mark the end of the elaborate ceremony.After the ceremony, Kibaki will head to State House where he will host a luncheon for his successor and invited guests.

According to the constitution, the president-elect is barred from performing any state functions, for instance, issuing declarations, before he or she is sworn in.

"There will be no vacuum. The incumbent will continue to exercise power until the president-elect is sworn in," said Kimemia.There are eight presidential candidates. They are Cord's Raila Odinga, Jubilee's Uhuru Kenyatta, Martha Karua of Narc-Kenya, Amani's Musalia Mudavadi, Eagle's Peter Kenneth, RBK's James ole Kiyiapi, Paul Muite of Safina and ARK's Mohamed Abduda Dida.

The briefing was attended by Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo and several Permanent Secretaries.

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