By James Macharia
NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki ended a row over top judicial appointments that had threatened the country’s fragile coalition government by saying on Tuesday that he would start the selection process afresh.
By Anthony Kariuki
President Kibaki has withdrawn his nominations to four constitutional offices.
The President said that whereas he acted within his constitutional mandate in making the nominations, the matter was of great national importance.
“Following extensive consultations with a large section of Members of Parliament in order to ensure that national interest remains paramount, I reiterate that both the Legal and Justice Committee of Parliament as well as the Committee on Finance and Trade concluded that I have acted within my constitutional mandate in the execution of the nominations,” he said at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, Nairobi.
“However, considering the importance of the office of the Chief Justice as the head of the Judicial Arm of the Government, I have considered all the concerns expressed in regard to this nomination and I have concluded that it is beneficial that the nomination to fill this office, during the transition period, is also done through the Judicial Service Commission,” said President Kibaki.
“In regard to nomination of the Attorney General, I have invited the Prime Minister for further consultations.
“I have also decided that the positions of Director of Public Prosecutions and Controller of Budget should be advertised through the Public Service Commission,” he said.
President Kibaki said the move will “enable us to move forward with the implementation process of the Constitution”.
It would appear that the decision of current AG Wako not to support the Kibaki appointments may have been a key event, as well perhaps as the heavy diplomatic pressure.