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Showdown looms as NASA MPs threaten to boycott swearing-in ceremony

A major political showdown is looming after the opposition threatened to boycott swearing-in of MPs-elect next week.

The National Super Alliance (NASA) argued the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta has been challenged at the Supreme Court and thus should not convene the Senate and the National Assembly’s first sitting.

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In a statement signed by ODM Director of Elections, Junet Mohamed for NASA National Steering Committee, the opposition coalition said they will only take oath of office once the petition challenging Uhuru’s reelection is determined.

The seven-judge bench of the Supreme Court is expected to make a ruling on September 2.

“NASA members will stay away from the swearing in until the matters surrounding Uhuru’s supposed re-election are heard and credibly determined. We will not party to processes geared towards sanitizing fraud,” said MP Junet.

NASA said the rush by Uhuru to convene the two Houses was part of Jubilee’s psychological war fare to make Kenyans accept his “fraudulent re-election”.

The President has upto September 7 to convene the two Houses as the Constitution states that first sitting of a newly elected Parliament should be done with 30 days after the elections. The polls were conducted on August 8.

“There is a rush certainly, suicidal in our view, by Mr. Kenyatta to defraud Kenyans into believing that all is well and that he is rightly and properly in office. It is a psychological war that is meant to make Kenyans adjust into accepting a third stolen election as they await a fourth similar fraud in 2022,” added the statement.

Junet said allowing the process to proceed will only help in entrenching fraud that has troubled the country for the past 10 years, asserting that the country was not ready to move until the issues of electoral fraud are dealt with properly.

“We remind Jubilee that in the wake of the botched 2013 elections and the Supreme Court’s controversial decision, a huge section of our country never accepted the legitimacy of Jubilee regime, even as we agreed to put up with it for the sake of the country,” he added.

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“The path he has embarked on will certainly deepen the crisis of governance that has troubled the country these past 10 years beginning with the stolen elections of 2007,” added the statement.

President Uhuru directed newly elected Members of Parliament (MPs) and Senators to assemble in Parliament on August 31 when they will be sworn into office.

 

In a special issue of the Kenya gazette dated August 23, Uhuru, in exercise of powers granted to him under Article 126(2) of the Constitution, summoned the first sitting of the 12th Parliament, where the members will elect their respective Speakers and Deputy Speakers.

“Pursuant to the provisions of Article 126(2) of the Constitution, the date for the first sitting of the new House is appointed by the President and should not be more than thirty days after the election, that is, not later than September 7, 2017,” says the Constitution.

The two Houses must convene within 30 days of election, putting September 7 the last day for them to call the first sitting.

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