President Uhuru Kenyatta has finally spoken on the possibility of postponing the next general polls following the Court of Appeal ruling on the electoral body Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) composition.
Speaking during an interview on Monday 23 August, the head of state spoken on the probability to postpone the fast approaching general elections claiming that the election may not occur if the Court of Appeal judgment that poked holes in the electoral body was anything to go by.
The head of state remarked that the seven-judge bench led by Justice Daniel Musinga ruled that IEBC lacked the quorum to conduct the referendum as proposed in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) that was shot down by the court of appeal on Friday 20 August.
The High court ruling on IEBC composition elicited mixed reactions amongst analysts and constitutional advisers on whether the composition of the electoral body will affect the 2022 elections.
The Head of State was, however, categorical that he is not concentrating on postponing the elections but his focus is on completing his term.
“If what the court ruled on BBI is anything to go by, then we cannot have the General Election owing to the IEBC composition. I do not want to comment on that. Let us wait and see what unfolds. I am ready for the election at the prescribed time as I have said several times,” President Kenyatta stated.
“So that is all I have to say on the issue – I am working on that election and transition schedule, ” the Head of State added.
Six judges namely; Justices Daniel Musinga, Roselyn Nambuye, Hannah Okwengu, Patrick Kiage, Gatembu Kairu, and Francis Tuiyott out if seven judges agreed that the Kenyan electoral body does not have the required quorum to carry out the proposed referendum, Justice Fatuma Sichale, however, dissented during the Friday 20 court of appeal hearing on the BBI.
This comprises of the signature verification and whether the initiative as submitted by BBI is supported by the requisite number of registered voters per Article 257(4) of the Constitution.
Political analyst, Mark Bichache, argued that there are gaps that can lead to the postponement of the elections noting that the electoral body needs eight commissioners to carry out its mandate according to the IEBC Act.
“This is not a loophole that can be exploited by Uhuru as claimed by certain quotas. These are the consequences of the ruling. The Court of Appeal says that IEBC is not properly constituted but does not say how it should be done,” Mark stated.
“In as much as Kenyans are busy celebrating a ruling that has nullified the BBI, they are not looking into other aspects which are detrimental in the long term. We recently recruited commissioners for the IEBC and this was done per the law. Is there any other way to nominate and vet these commissioners? No there is not,” Mark added.
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