President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday said dissolving parliament is not what he “would like to do” but is waiting for the outcome of a court case to take his next course of action.
Last week, Chief Justice David Maraga advised Mr Kenyatta to dissolve Parliament for failing in its constitutional mandate to pass the two-thirds gender rule.
Two Kenyans — Leina Konchellah and Mohsen Abdul Munasah — then petitioned a High Court to quash the advisory with Justice Weldon Korir ordering for the preservation of the status quo pending the hearing and determination of the case.
It is the resolution of that case that will determine the way forward, Mr Kenyatta told France 24 in an interview during his visit to Paris.
“It is not what I would like to do but it is an option that has been put (forward) by the Chief Justice,” the President said.
“We wait to see the outcome of the court process and that will be the time to decide what is going to be the way forward.”
Mr Kenyatta said he regretted that Parliament had not passed the gender rule — a provision of the 2010 Constitution — that would essentially provide for gender parity and fairness in appointments.
He, nonetheless, while recognising that the Kenyan Constitution was progressive, held that the legislation was not easy to achieve in a democratic society.
“At the end of the day, we must recognise that we must balance the rights of the citizens to elect their representatives and the need for us to have gender parity,” Mr Kenyatta said.
“That is not easily achievable. There are countries like the USA and France that have yet to achieve that particular objective. We are all striving to get there.”
While the Attorney General Kihara Kariuki has said that the president may get a fresh term in office if he heeds the CJ’s advisory, Mr Kenyatta said he has no intention of remaining in power if he delivers his promises to Kenyans.
He said he would neither seek a constitutional change for a third term as president nor remain in power if a position of a Prime Minister was created for him through reforms fronted by the Building Bridges Initiative.
“Oh please! I would rather come and enjoy a holiday in France every summer,” he said.
Asked about his relationship with his deputy and if he will back William Ruto’s presidential bid in 2022, Mr Kenyatta was non-committal, and said it was not time for campaigns yet.
“My intention is to do everything I can to bring Kenyans together and to ensure that the next elections shall not be a tense one or that can lead to a potential crisis of ethnicity. That is the reason I reached out to the Opposition.”
“There are some who feel that that kind of partnership (with the Opposition) is meant to side line William Ruto.”
When hard-pressed to commit on supporting Ruto in 2022, he said his commitment was to “peace, stability and prosperity” for Kenyans.
The President is in France for a three-day trip that will see him preside over the signing of business deals with the local consortium.
It started with Mr Kenyatta and France’s Emmanuel Macron witnessing the signing of three bilateral agreements, including a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) for the construction of the Nairobi-Nakuru-Mau Summit highway by the Kenya National Highways Authority and Vinci Concessions.
The two other deals are for the development of a commuter railway line between the Nairobi central business district and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, and a 400kV electricity transmission line between Menengai and Rongai.
On Friday, Mr Kenyatta will preside over the Kenya-France business forum organised by the French Business Confederation (Movement Des Entreprises De France).
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