NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 1 – President Mwai Kibaki could remain in office until June if losers in next month’s election successfully challenge the outcome in the Supreme Court.
The Head of Civil Service Francis Kimemia said that the Constitution provides that the incumbent stays in office until the president-elect is sworn in.
Speaking during a security briefing with the media, Kimemia explained that a fresh presidential election will be held on May 31 in case there is a successful petition of the outcome of the first round of the election.
“The Constitution in Article 142 provides that the incumbent president will continue to be in office until the next president-elect is sworn in. There will be no vacuum in terms of the Cabinet,” he said.
“The president is mandated to wait until he has handed over instruments of power to the next president. I want to assure Kenyans that there will be no vacuum whatsoever,” he added.
He indicated that in the event a repeat poll is held, the swearing in of the new president will be held on June 18, 2013.
The Constitution requires the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to hold fresh elections within 60 days following a successful petition in the Supreme Court of the result of a presidential election.
Kimemia further pointed out that every precaution will be taken to ensure that the venue of the swearing at Nyayo National Stadium is safe.
“We will work with the private sector to ensure that we conduct a very top notch swearing-in ceremony,” he stated.
Kenya’s 4th president is set to be sworn into office on March 26 if victory is achieved in round one, according to a schedule released by the government on Friday.
Kimemia stated that the president-elect shall be sworn in public by the Chief Justice at the Nyayo National Stadium.
He pointed out that in case there is a petition but it is dismissed, the swearing in will take place on April 16.
The civil service boss explained that the swearing in of the new president will take place on April 30 in case there is a run-off.
According to the Constitution, if a president-elect dies after being declared elected as president but before assuming office, the deputy president-elect shall be sworn in as acting president on the date on which the president-elect would otherwise have been sworn in.