Friday the 13th Ruling: No Kenyan Election Until 2013 Unless Gov’t Dissolved First says High Court

Here is the story from KBC:

A three  judge bench Friday ruled that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) sets the date for the general election.

In a one hour ruling by constitutional court judges Isaac lenaola, David Majanja and Mumbi Ngugi, IEBC should set the election date 60 days after the expiry of the current parliament which is January 15,2013.

Going by the ruling, the general election is likely to be held in 2013. The judges who took time to read through the appeals by different petitioners said it was prudent for the IEBC to determine the date since it is the one bestowed with the mandate to conduct elections.

They ruled that the General Election can only be held in 2012 if President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga agree, in writing, to dissolve the Grand Coalition Government. This would be 60 days after the Principals agree to terminate the National Accord that holds the coalition parties, PNU and ODM, together.

Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta says his KANU party will respect the court’s verdict.

Narck Kenya leader Martha Karua posted her immediate reaction on twitter saying she totally disagree’s with the court’s ruling.

She argues that the term of office must include the election period and that’s the interpretation world over.

“I totally disagree with the court’s ruling. Term of office must include the election period and that’s the interpretation world over.”

.  .  .  .

Sloppy or deliberately ambiguous work on the new Constitution strikes again.  The big picture here is that the Kenyan voters end up having foisted on them a “grand coalition” of all the major players from the last election until an election that is LATER rather than SOONER in the wake of the failure of the 2007 election.  Hopefully civil society, democracy activists and donors will use the extra time productively to push the political class further forward on the reforms required to implement the new Constitution and prepare for a better election.  No reason to be optimistic that extra time will help, but we can always hope>

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