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President: Respect, Uphold & Safeguard Constitution Order 131 (2).

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President Kenyatta shows a Mombasa kid/supporter Statehouse President Kenyatta shows a Mombasa kid/supporter Statehouse

Kenya Constitution, Article 131 (2) order: “The President shall— (a) respect, uphold and safeguard this Constitution.” The following law requires the President to respect, uphold and safeguard the constitution. How a President respects, upholds and safeguards the constitution can lead to a country's constitution failing or working. The biggest test of President Uhuru Kenyatta compliance with Kenya Constitution 131 (2) would occur September 1st 2017.

After August 8th, 2017 elections, President Uhuru Kenyatta would be declared winner having received 8.2 million votes. His challenger Raila Odinga had 6.8 million votes. With 1.4 million vote margin, President Uhuru Kenyatta was preparing to start the second term. However, this would have to wait; Raila Odinga was not ready to say, “I concede.” Raila opened a case at the Supreme Court per Kenya Constitution 140. 

Kenya Constitution 140 reads, “(1) A person may file a petition in the Supreme Court to challenge the election of the President-elect within seven days after the date of the declaration of the results of the presidential election. (2) Within fourteen days after the filing of a petition under clause (1), the Supreme Court shall hear and determine the petition and its decision shall be final. (3) If the Supreme Court determines the election of the President-elect to be invalid, a fresh election shall be held within sixty days after the determination.”

The Supreme Court on September 1st, 2017 would rule and invalidate the Election on August 8th 2017. The court ruling that there were irregularities and illegalities. The court however did not challenge the validity of the 8.2 million votes and 6.8 million vote result. 

When this happened President Uhuru Kenyatta as a sitting President as well as the person who had received 8.2 million votes was required to implement Kenya Constitution 131 (2) “The President shall— (a) respect, uphold and safeguard this Constitution.”  

President Uhuru Kenyatta words, “I disagree with the ruling, but I respect it,” would make the President respect, uphold and safeguard Kenya Constitution 140. However, the President respecting, upholding and safeguarding Constitution 140 did not mean that Kenya Constitution Article 1 had been respected, upheld and safeguarded. 

Kenya Constitution article 1 states, “(1) All sovereign power belongs to the people of Kenya and shall be exercised only in accordance with this Constitution (2) The people may exercise their sovereign power either directly or through their democratically elected representatives.” 

With the 15 million Kenyan vote resulting from the Kenya constitution article 1. (2) and having elected their democratic leader on  8th August 2017; President Kenyatta needed to safeguard the constitution to the satisfaction of the 15 million. The words by President Kenyatta “I disagree with ruling,” would safeguarded the constitution Sovereign Power of the 8.2 million who had voted for him. The words, “I respect the ruling,” safeguarded the constitution Sovereign Power of 6.8 million.   

One of the hardest decision a sitting President can make is complying with the constitution law that requires the President to respect, uphold and defend the constitution. This responsibility becomes even harder when two constitutional laws conflict with each other. In this case the 140 constitutional law that invalidated Kenya Constitution 1 (2) without showing that the 8.2 million, 6.8 million numbers were wrong.   

The Supreme Court ruling will be remembered as when Kenya Constitution 2010 became the Supreme law of Kenya. The Supreme Court Justices role was to make a ruling. President Uhuru Kenyatta role to respect, uphold and safeguard Kenya Constitution. President Kenyatta shall be remembered as the President who made Kenya a country whose Supreme Law is Kenya Constitution

Read: How Will President Kenyatta Respect, Uphold & Safeguard Kenya Constitution 1 (1) & 94 (5)?

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