On Thursday, the Supreme Court will rule on the fate of the BBI constitutional review process. The decision of the seven-judge panel, led by Chief Justice Martha Koome, is expected to have a major impact on the political landscape. The ruling might lead to a slew of constitutional amendments, including, among other things, a more powerful executive branch.
It will mark the end of a long political and legal battle over the first amendment to the 2010 Constitution. The focus of the nation will be on the judges, who, in a masterstroke, will either overhaul or keep the county’s governance structure as we know it. It’ll be a litmus test for the bench led by CJ Koome. The Supreme Court faces a difficult task in comprehending prior High Court and Court of Appeal judgements declaring the constitutional amendment movement unlawful and null and invalid.
The Attorney General, President Uhuru Kenyatta, the BBI Secretariat, and the Electoral Commission of Kenya (IEBC) went to the Supreme Court to contest the decision to annul the BBI effort, citing a string of setbacks in lower courts. Kihara Kariuki, the Attorney General, asks the Supreme Court to rule that under the Constitution’s essential structure concept, any sections can be altered. Similarly, the Attorney General wants the Supreme Court to overturn the High Court and Court of Appeal rulings that the president can be sued, and that the President of Kenya, as a Kenyan citizen, has the right to not only participate in but also to initiate change to the supreme law through a popular initiative.
President Kenyatta, for his part, petitioned the Supreme Court to uphold presidential immunity and maintain the President’s prerogative to propose constitutional amendments. This comes after lower courts found that the president can be sued and that the President of the United States improperly began constitutional reforms. The seven judges were asked to find that there was appropriate public involvement in the run-up to the referendum bill in their ruling. The BBI secretariat also claimed that it was the one who started the procedure, despite the fact that the president was the one who started it, according to the High Court and Court of Appeal.
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