10 key world dignitaries to attend Uhuru's swearing in ceremony
Britain has already send a congratulatory message to the duo for winning a second term
President Uhuru Kenyatta with UK Prime Minister Theresa May at 10 Downing Street in London. (Courtesy)
On the long list of dignitaries set for the swearing in event of president elect Uhuru Kenyatta, former US President Barack Obama may be one of them, a local daily reports.
The swearing-in committee, led by Chief of Staff Joseph Kinyua, revealed to the press that they are already compiling the list of foreign dignitaries the Government intends to invite, should the re-election be maintained.
Leaders likely to be invited are African Heads of State, among them, Paul Kagame (Rwanda), Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), John Pombe Magufuli (Tanzania), Jacob Zuma (South Africa), Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari who has been out of Nigeria on a medical vacation for 97 days, and European leaders German Chancellor Angela Merkel and United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May.
Also on the list are Liberian leader Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, businessman Aliko Dangote, His Highness the Aga Khan, former Italian PM Matteo Renzi and China’s President Xi Jinping.
“We are basically preparing for the swearing-in ceremony of the President even as we go through the constitutional timelines and processes. That list basically contains the President’s friends, African and other world leaders we intend to invite for the fete. It is just an ordinary preparation process,” one of the committee members who spoke to The Standard said.
The electoral commission Chairman Wafula Chebukati on Friday declared incumbent President Uhuru and his deputy William Ruto winners of this year’s presidential contest. The duo garnered over 54 per cent of the votes cast on Tuesday 8.
A determination on the exact swearing-in ceremony can only be made after 14 days following the date of the declaration of results to provide room for any party willing to petition the results to do so.
The law requires the swearing-in of the President-elect be conducted in a public ceremony held in the capital city.
In 14 days from the day of announcement of his win, Mr Kenyatta will take oath of office, sign a certificate of inauguration in the presence of the Chief Justice or his deputy in a public ceremony in the capital Nairobi.
Kenya’s high court annuls the presidential election
An astonishing decision means another vote must be held within 60 days
IN KENYA, as in many African countries, when government spokesmen say that the judiciary is independent, foreigners tend to be sceptical. They may be less so in future. On September 1st the supreme court in Kenya ruled that the country’s disputed presidential election, which took place on August 8th, will have to be held again within 60 days. The decision could prove to be a watershed in Kenya’s development into a functioning, modern democracy. But in a country where elections are hard-fought and the results usually disputed, sometimes violently, it could equally herald a new round of uncertainty and chaos.
The court’s complete ruling has not yet been released. But the panel of judges did not decide that Uhuru Kenyatta, the incumbent and apparent winner, actually lost. Nor have they endorsed the opinion of Raila Odinga (pictured), Mr Kenyatta’s opponent in the election, that the vote was “hacked” and that the official results were phoney. Instead, the judges seem to have been persuaded that irregularities in the transmission of the results from polling stations to the electoral commission were important enough that the exercise should be repeated.
What happens now is anyone’s guess. The result could be “anarchy”, says Michael Chege of the University of Nairobi. At a cost of $500m, the election in August was one of the most expensive, not just in Africa, but anywhere. It involved hundreds of thousands of temporary workers. The government will have to find the money to repeat it. The electoral commission will also have to do a better job than last time—or else risk facing a second disputed result in a year. New lawsuits, disputing races for senate seats and county governors, could also lead to new elections.
The economy is likely to suffer, says Faith Mwangi of Exotix, an investment firm. In the run-up to the vote, firms held off on investing, adopting a “wait and see kind of approach”, says Ms Mwangi. That will continue for at least two more months. The Nairobi Stock Exchange fell sharply after the court’s decision, while the Kenyan shilling weakened slightly.
In the end, though, the vote many not change the outcome. True, Mr Odinga’s supporters will be jubilant at the decision. And they may be more enthused to vote in the next election. But support for Mr Odinga is more marginal than that for Mr Kenyatta. Mr Odinga may also have made himself less popular with swing voters over the past few weeks, says Mr Chege. His team has talked wildly about “divorce” and “secession” from Kenya. Being forced to fight a gruelling campaign all over again could also win sympathy for Mr Kenyatta.
Despite its flaws, the overturned election was probably one of Kenya’s most credible. In contrast to previous votes, violence was relatively limited. Expensive electronic equipment was used to check voters against a biometric database and to stop vote totals from being padded. It broadly worked. International observers gave the election generally positive reviews. So there is concern that, if Mr Odinga loses again, his supporters still will not accept the result. But if Kenyans see the next election as free and fair, regardless of the outcome, it could herald a new faith in the country’s institutions. That would make future elections less chaotic and controversial. Despite the short-term disruption, it would be worth it.
Kenyan opposition suspends “People’s Assembly” after rivals meet
Kenyan opposition politicians said on Monday they had suspended their rival assembly, days after their leader said he would reconcile with President Uhuru Kenyatta and end months of post-election turmoil.
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