President Uhuru Kenyatta has downplayed claims by the opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) that the country is on the cusp of a constitutional crisis, should the fresh presidential election derail.
Speaking in a meeting with leaders from pastoralist communities, the Head of State warned Nasa that there will be no vacuum should the election fail, saying that the Constitution is clear that he is the President until a new leader is sworn-in.
“If they think the country does not have a President, I dare them to try do something… we show them that there is no vacuum. There is no need of engaging in a back and forth argument with them,” he said.
“I give you that assurance that the State is intact; the government is in place and working and we look forward to a peaceful and successful election on the date that shall be announced by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).”
The President was reacting to remarks by Siaya Senator James Orengo who on Wednesday told Kenyans to brace themselves for a constitutional crisis if the fresh election is not conducted within the deadline as ordered by the Supreme Court.
Speaking outside the Supreme Court of Kenya moments after the delivery of the full judgment of the presidential election petition, Orengo, who is NASA’s lead counsel, called on the electoral commission to get its house in order as fast as possible to avoid a looming constitutional crisis.
“The danger we now find ourselves in is that if the elections aren’t held within 60 days, he (President Kenyatta) will not have the constitutional authority and the legitimacy to stay in that office.”
“A constitutional crisis in the sense that the powers that the President would normally enjoy were extinguished very substantially on the 8th of August 2017,” he said, adding that “after the August 8 General Election, the President is exercising temporary incumbency.”
The highest court in the land declared invalid, null and void the election on grounds that IEBC committed illegalities and irregularities.
“I have heard things I have never thought I can hear in a democratic nation; because some people have reversed everything that Kenyans said they did not want to see when they voted for this Constitution in 2010.” President Uhuru said during the meeting at the State House in Nairobi.
“I was stunned and shocked yesterday when he said that he will not hesitate to overturn the will of the people again if a petition is presented challenging the outcome of the fresh poll,” he added.