Court petition and swearing in: What follows after declaration of President-elect

By Natalya Adero

Six days after Kenyans trooped to their polling stations on Tuesday August 9 to cast their ballots, the result of the presidential election was Monday announced with UDA candidate William Ruto being declared the President-elect.

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission chairman Wafula Chebukati said Ruto garnered 7176141 votes against 6942930 that were cast in favour of his closes rival Raila Odinga of the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition.

George Wajackoyah of Roots Party came a very distant third with 61969 votes while David Mwaure who ran on the Agano Party ticket got 31987 votes.

Ruto got 50.49 per cent of the votes cast, Chebukati said. That is well over the constitutional requirement of 50 per cent plus one of the total valid votes cast.

He also got at least 25 per cent of the votes cast in each of 39 counties. The law requires that a candidate gets more than at least 25 per cent of the votes cast in at least half of the counties to be declared president-elect.

Kenya has 47 counties, meaning the winning candidate is required to get at least 25 per cent of the total votes cast in at least 24 counties.

Chebukati is now required to deliver a written notification of the result to the Chief Justice and the incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The swearing in of the President-elect shall be in public before the Chief Justice or the Deputy Chief Justice. The President-elect shall be sworn in on the first Tuesday following the fourteenth day after the date of the declaration of the result of the presidential election, if no petition has been filed to challenge that outcome.

That Tuesday falls on August 30.

If the result is challenged in court and the petition dismissed, then the President-elect is sworn in on the seventh day following the date on which the court renders the decision.

The President-elect assumes office by taking and subscribing the oath or affirmation of allegiance, and the oath or affirmation for the execution of the functions of office, as prescribed in the Third Schedule.

If a petition is filed at the Supreme Court to challenge the election of the president-elect, then it must be done within seven days after the date of the declaration of the result.

The court shall then hear and determine the petition within 14 days after it has been filed. The decision of the bench is final.

If the judges declare the election null and void, then a fresh election is held within 60 days after the date on which that determination is made.