What happens after IEBC announces Kenya’s fifth President?

Anxiety continues to bite among Kenyans as they await for the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to announce the results of the August 9 Presidential election.

This, after the commission confirmed on Monday morning that they have finalised the tallying process and what remains is Chairman Wafula Chebukati declaring the winner.

It is worth noting that the winner, as dictated by the Constitution of Kenya, must have met a required threshold before being declared.

The chairman is also required to announce the results through a televised address.

However, if there is no winner announced due to nobody attaining the 50% plus 1 vote threshhold, a fresh election shall be held within 30 days after the previous election and only the candidate(s) who received the greatest number of votes and the candidate(s) who received the second greatest number of votes shall be the ones to participate.

After the declaration, here is what ensues up until the president-elect is sworn in as head-of-state.

1. The IEBC chairman is required to offer the president-elect a certificate. The candidate must present themselves physically to collect it.

2. The chairman must deliver a written notification of the results to the Chief Justice and the incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The Supreme Court should hear and determine the petition within 14 days after it is filed and its decision shall be final.

If the Supreme Court rules in favour of the petitioner(s), the results are annulled and a fresh election is ordered to be held within 60 days.

In the 2017 General Election, for example, the August 8 elections were challenged by Raila Odinga of the ODM party leading to the court suspending the results. A repeat election was held on October 26 where President Kenyatta emerged the winner.

4. In the event that no petition is filed at the Apex Court, the President-elect shall be sworn in publicly before the Chief Justice or the Deputy Chief Justice if the CJ is absent on the first Tuesday, two weeks after the date of the declaration of the result of the presidential election by IEBC.

The president-elect then takes an oath of office for the execution of the functions of office, as prescribed in Article 141 (3) of the Constitution of Kenya.

Upon taking the oath, the President shall sign a certificate of inauguration and the outgoing President shall hand over to the President the instruments of power and authority: a sword and the Constitution.

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