Uhuru has 26 days to hold Parliament sitting

By Asad Cabdullahi Mataan

President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta, who won a second term, has 26 days to convene the first sitting of Parliament.

The Constitution gives the President sweeping powers to decide when the bicameral House can hold its inaugural sitting after the General Election.

According to the Constitution, the President must publish the appointed date in the official Kenya gazette.

The Constitution requires that the first sitting of Parliament be held within 30 days of the election, this means the deadline is September 8.

Meanwhile, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission chairman Wafula Chebukati has 14 days after the election within which to publish names of elected and nominated political leaders to pave way for their swearing in.

This means that August 22 is the deadline.

The President and Deputy President William Ruto were gazetted in a special issue of the Kenya gazette on Saturday after IEBC declared them winners of last week’s presidential election.

IEBC will publish the names of 47 governors and their deputies, as well as 47 senators, 47 woman representatives, 1,450 MCAs and 289 National Assembly members, giving them the green light to assume office. Also to be gazetted are nominated MPs, senators and MCAs.
The commission will only publish 289 members of the National Assembly as the he Kitutu Chache South MP election was postponed following the death of the Jubilee candidate a few days to polls.

“Whenever a new House is elected, the President, by notice in the Kenya gazette, shall appoint the place and date for the first sitting of the new House, which shall be not more than thirty days after the election,” reads Article 126 {2} of the Constitution.

The September 8 date coincides with the last day within which the President-elect must be sworn into office in case of an unsuccessful petition challenging the presidential results.

The framers of the Constitution contemplated a situation where the President-elect may illegally convene the House while at the same time facing an election petition.

The Presidential election stands validated only by the Supreme Court upon the dismissal of a petition challenging the election.

During the first sitting, the National Assembly and Senate will elect the House Speakers before they are sworn into office.

The two speakers, upon election, shall preside over the swearing in of the MPs in which they shall take the oath of office.

Source: Thestar