Retiring President Uhuru Kenyatta might remain a little bit longer in power should the August 9 General elections have Supreme Court petitions or end up in a run off.
According to projections done by experts, the August 9 Presidential race might end up in a run-off since the opinion polls indicate that contenders William Ruto and Raila Odinga are almost tied.
According to Article 142 of the Constitution, the President’s tenure begins on the date of his inauguration and ends when his successor is sworn in. On the basis of this criterion, the Constitution’s handover scenarios, which all involve the resolution of challenges stemming from the presidential election, indicate that Uhuru Kenyatta may remain in office until May 2 of next year in the worst case.
However, this will rely on whether Supreme Court justices will nullify the 2022 presidential election twice.
Constitutional lawyer Bob Mkangi contends that while such a situation would be permissible under the constitution, its likelihood is low unless there is a catastrophic failure on the part of the IEBC.
“The calculations of the scenarios are legit because it is anticipated in the Constitution, but it will be hard to imagine that the Supreme Court can nullify two consecutive presidential elections.” Mkangi said as quoted by the Saturday Nation.
However Uhuru could be out of office by September 3 if one of the Presidential aspirants will record a convincing first-round victory, including the needed 50 percent plus one requirements. The experts also anticipate a situation in which a presidential petition is filed, but the Supreme Court does not overrule the commission’s decision.
This is similar to the situation in 2013 when President Kenyatta was declared validly elected after receiving 50 percent plus one of all votes cast and 25 percent of all votes cast in 24 counties to defeat Raila Odinga, who filed a petition but lost.