High Court dismisses petition challenging August election date

The High Court has dismissed a petition by former nominated Senator Paul Njoroge challenging the constitutionality of the date of the August election.

In its ruling, the Court said the Petition and the application were both without merit arguing that the Petitioner was calling upon the Court to adjust the constitutionally appointed date for general elections.

In the petition, Njoroge argued that the general election of 8th August, 2017 was unconstitutional on the grounds that the term of five years of the then incumbent government had not expired since general elections were held in March 2013.

He was of the persuasion that the next General election should be due about the same time in 2018 when the term of office for elective positions will have come to an end.

The Court was however categorical saying, “The Constitution does not say that the general elections be held at the end of the fifth year, or at the end of the term. It simply states that the general elections be held on the second Tuesday in August in every fifth year. This is simple clear and unambiguous language. The petitioner’s contention that the general elections should be held at the end of the term of five years is with respect not in the Constitution.”

According to the petitioner, President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto who were the 1st and 2nd Interested Parties were sworn in on 28th November, 2017 and, arithmetically, their 5-year period lapses on 28th November, 2022 as opposed to 9th August, 2022

However, the Court said the contention by the petitioner is a misinterpretation of the Constitution

“The general elections were held on 4th March 2013. A simple arithmetic shows that the second Tuesday in August in the fifth year falls on 8th August this year. That date is in the fifth year following the previous election. No other construction can be given to the provisions relating to the general elections without distorting the purpose and principles of the Constitution,” The High Court ruled.





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