31 October 2017

Kenya: Uhuru Kenyatta Election Victory - the Next Steps

Photo: Daily Nation
President Uhuru Kenyatta.
opinion

The declaration of President Kenyatta as the winner of the repeat presidential election boycotted by his main challenger Raila Odinga will today kick off a series of legal activities that could go up to February 2018.

This morning, Mr Odinga is expected to make an announcement of what he will do next, with multiple accounts suggesting a possible petition at the Supreme Court through civil society organisations.

PETITION

It is a legal provision President Kenyatta was all too aware of when he received his victory certificate from electoral commission chairman Wafula Chebukati.

"My victory today is likely to be subjected to a constitutional test through the courts. And as I have demonstrated repeatedly, I will submit to this constitutional path no matter its outcomes," President Kenyatta told his supporters at the Bomas of Kenya.

Such a petition, according to the law, must be filed seven days after declaration of the results.

That deadline ends on Monday November 6 at midnight.

7 DAYS

The Chief Justice David Maraga-led court, which became the first in Africa and the fourth in the world to nullify a presidential poll on September 1, will have 14 days to hear and determine the case.

By November 20, the court must make a decision whether to uphold Mr Kenyatta's win or send Kenyans back to the polls within 60 days.

Should they uphold President Kenyatta's win, the 56-year-old US-educated economist will be sworn in together with his deputy William Ruto on November 28.

Such a ceremony, the law says, should happen on the first Tuesday following seven days after the Supreme Court determination upholding the declaration of a president-elect.

The oath of office will take place in a public place not earlier than 10am and not later than 2pm to be administered by the Registrar of the Judiciary in the presence of the Chief Justice.

FEB 13

But should the apex court decide that President Kenyatta's win, a second in a span of 81 days, was invalid, Kenyans will, again, have to go back to the ballot on January 19, with the commission expected to make a declaration on January 26.

If no challenge is made to the declaration, the president-elect will then be sworn in on February 13.

And like a man aware of such a provision, President Kenyatta Monday wondered aloud whether he will be taken through the same things, again.

"As you know, I have been here before. This time, I hope for the last time," said President Kenyatta.

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