The decision limits President Uhuru Kenyatta’s ability to prevent his estranged deputy from succeeding next year.
The Kenyan Court of Appeal rejected the government’s application for fundamental changes to the constitution, which dealt a new blow to President Uhuru Kenyatta, who initiated these controversial proposals.
On Friday, the court upheld the High Court’s decision May’s decision The proposed reform was declared illegal because Kenyatta’s actions were unconstitutional, limiting his ability to prevent his estranged deputy from succeeding him next year.
“Those days [an] The irresponsible presidency is long gone,” said Patrick Kiage, one of the appeal judges, who rejected the government’s appeal.
Kenyatta argued that the initiative will make politics more inclusive and help end the repeated cycles of electoral violence in East African countries, which is a hot issue that divides political elites.
The president of the court, Daniel Musinga, issued the verdict after more than 10 hours of television broadcast.
“According to the constitution, the president has no right to make changes to the constitution,” he said.
“Constitutional amendments can only be initiated by parliament…or through popular initiatives,” he said, while also announcing that Kenyatta may be prosecuted in a civil court for initiating the procedure.
“About politicians and their pursuit of power”
The proposed amendment, commonly known as the “Bridge Building Initiative” (BBI), will be the biggest governance change since the 2010 new constitution.
The BBI has become a lightning rod for politicians’ arguments before the general election in August 2022. Kenyatta and Vice President William Ruto have fallen out, and they and their supporters disagree on these proposals.
Kenyatta argued that the constitutional reform will promote power sharing among competing ethnic groups and has no intention of denying anyone the presidency.
The proposed amendment will create 70 new electoral districts and create several powerful new positions: a prime minister, two representatives and an official leader of the opposition party in parliament.
In the past two elections, the Karenjin of Ruto and the Kikuyu of Kenyatta teamed up to defeat Raila Odinga, the former prime minister of another major ethnic group.
Anti-corruption activist John Githongo said that part of the purpose of these amendments was to tame Ruto’s political ambitions to succeed Kenyatta and make it possible to form an alliance with him.
Ruto has been actively fighting for the Kikuyu voting group to inherit Kenyatta in the central region-some people there have accepted his message.
“We don’t want BBI… it’s about politicians and their quest for power,” said Beatrice Cagure, a college student in the center of Nyeri.
Friday’s ruling allowed the election process to proceed according to its planned timetable-if there is any appeal, it can be appealed to the country’s highest court.
But this means that the country’s main political leaders may have to reconsider their strategy for building alliances before voting, analysts said.
Due to its diverse population and large ethnic voting group, Kenya has long suffered politically motivated community violence during elections, especially after a poll in 2007, when more than 1,100 people died.