The just-concluded presidential election has elicited mixed reactions across the board following the declaration of President-elect William Ruto by a divided Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
With Azimio One Kenya Alliance leader Raila Odinga rejecting Ruto’s victory, the focus has now shifted to the Supreme Court where petitions are to be filed within seven days after the day results were declared.
“Take notice, should any presidential election petition be filed, the same shall be filed exclusively at the Supreme Court sub-register located at Forodha House adjacent to Milimani Law Courts along Upper Hill Close Road,” L M Wachira, the Supreme Court Registrar said through a statement.
A seven-bench judge will consider the petition filed by Odinga, the Azimio One Kenya Alliance candidate, if it is brought before the Supreme Court.
The judges are William Ouko, Mohammed Ibrahim, Smokin Wanjala, Njoki Ndung’u, Isaac Lenaola, and Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu.
In 2017 we witnessed the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta invalidated by three of the seven judges.
Chief Justice Koome and Justice Ouko joined the Supreme Court mid 2021.
The petition must be decided by the Supreme Court, which has exclusive jurisdiction over presidential election petitions, within 14 days of the petition’s submission, and whose ruling is binding.
United Democratic Alliance (UDA) candidate was declared president-elect having obtained 50.29 percent of the votes.
Ruto and Deputy President-elect Rigathi Gachagua would be sworn in on Tuesday, August 30, if a petition is not filed before the Supreme Court.
However, in the event that the validity of the presidential election results is disputed, the swearing-in will take place seven days after the date on which the Supreme Court issues its ruling.
Re-election would be held within 60 days if the Supreme Court annuls the presidential results as it did in 2017.
Despite a continuing appeal contesting the outcome of the presidential election, Parliament will convene for its first session.
As enshrined in the Constitution, the President must choose the location and date of the new House’s first meeting, which must take place not later than 30 days following the election, whenever a new House is elected.
If an election petition persists, the outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta will be required to call the first session of the 13th Parliament before September 9.
After the House is called to order, the 67 senators and the 349 members of the House will choose new speakers, who will subsequently be sworn in by the appropriate clerks.
The speakers will administer the oath of office to each MP. A minimum of 233 of the 349 MPs in the National Assembly, or at least two-thirds, must endorse a candidate for speaker.
To become Senate Speaker, one needs to receive the support of 45 out of the 67 senators, or two-thirds of them.
The President shall deliver to the President-elect the instruments of his or her authority, but the Constitution is vague as to whether the President-elect must be physically present.
In Kenya, it is customary for the departing president to transfer the reins of power to the incoming leader.
According to the Constitution, if the Chief Justice (CJ) is unable to preside over the ceremony owing to unforeseen circumstances, the CJ or the CJ’s deputy must administer the oath of office to the President-elect.
The event for swearing in must take place between 10 am and 2 pm.
The departing president will then deliver to his successor the keys to the executive branch.
The Constitution identifies the Constitution and the sword as the tools of power and authority.