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Friday, July 23, 2021 – A special court has given President Uhuru Kenyatta a leeway to extend his term in office beyond 2022.
According to an 11-judge bench sitting in Arusha, Tanzania, Uhuru can extend his term by postponing the 2022 General Elections due to the effects of Covid-19.
The Africa Court on Human and People’s Rights ruled that member states of the African Union can decide to postpone general elections due to public health concerns.
If Kenya decides to follow the ruling by the Africa Court on Human and People’s Rights then, President Uhuru’s term will be extended past August when his time in office expires.
But the court also noted that countries may decide to continue with elections as initially planned.
Notably, the bench further explained that in order for states to postpone elections they must be in compliance with their own laws.
“States may decide to conduct or not to conduct elections in the context of a public health emergency or a pandemic. Such a decision requires prior consultation with health authorities and political actors, including representatives of civil society,” the court ruled.
“Accordingly, in principle, States must have their own legislation on the consequences of the expiry of the term of office of elected officials without elections being held… the court holds that if such a legislation exists it must be applied,” it continued.
This comes at a time when the allies of President Uhuru Kenyatta are pressuring him to postpone 2022 polls due to Covid-19 concerns and to allow the IEBC enough time to prepare itself.
COTU boss Francis Atwoli even went further to say that the 2022 polls should be postponed until the BBI referendum is held.
However, Deputy President William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga have vehemently opposed the postponement of elections no matter what.
The Kenyan DAILY POST