Attorney General Githu Mugai has moved to quash talk of a constitutional crisis following the Supreme Court’s majority decision to force a re-run Kenya’s presidential election, now set for October 26.
Mugai told a press conference at his office in Sheria House on Friday that the constitution is clear and that Uhuru Kenyatta will remain as president with full executive powers, including the office of Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, until the results of the next election are confirmed and announced.
The Attorney General was responding to suggestions that Kenya is facing a constitutional crisis that might require the formation of a transitional government.
Mugai declared that the President remains in office to the moment that the new President is sworn in. Only a new election can replace or confirm the President in office, Mugai said, and the Constitution guarantees the legitimacy of the government until that point.
‘TRANSITIONAL’ OR ‘CARETAKER’ GOVERNMENT’ CANNOT BE FORMED
Referring to talk of a ‘transitional’ or ‘caretaker’ government, Mugai said there was no place for it in law and the AG cited Article 3 of the Constitution: “Any attempt to establish a government otherwise than in compliance with this Constitution is unlawful”.
In the meantime, Mugai said, citing Article 134 of the Constitution, the President is not allowed to nominate judges of the superior courts; appoint, nominate or dismiss Cabinet Secretaries, or other state or public officers; nor can he exercise powers of mercy, or confer honours.
“In some reports it has been suggested that where the election of the President is challenged and a subsequent election is held”, Mugai said, “a time may come in which the mandate of the presidency may be deemed to have ended and that some other from of arrangement or government may be considered. I wish to state there is no room for the creation of any form of government or authority”.
Mugai also said that even if the election was not, for some reason, held within 60 days it would not delegitimise the constitutional holder of the office of president. “There is absolutely no chance of a crisis around the date”, said Mugai, [because] “We are inside the election cycle”.