President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses Parliament

President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses 12th parliament even as Nasa legislatures boycott joint sitting

What you need to know:

  • He said the legislators were sworn in at a time that requires them to uphold democracy.
  • He warned that no one will be allowed to disrupt peace.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday addressed the first sitting of the 12th Parliament.

In the joint sitting boycotted by opposition legislators, President Kenyatta moved to assure Kenyans and the international community that there is no void in the top leadership.

He said the Constitution is clear that the term of a president ends when another is sworn in.

"No matter the political noises that are loudest during elections, I want to assure every Kenyan and the world that every arm of government is in place and operational. There is no void and there is no lacuna; Kenya is progressing along the path drawn for it by the Constitution,” he said.

DEMOCRACY

He said the legislators were sworn in at a time that requires them to uphold democracy.

The President said he strongly disagreed with the Supreme Court decision that nullified his election but accepted it because of respect of the Constitution and its institution.

“I have previously demonstrated this fidelity to the best interests of the Kenyan people, as happened when I conceded the loss of an election in 2002. You will also recall that I heeded the summons from a foreign court even though I knew I was answering trumped-up charges,” he said.

He asked lawmakers to ensure sustained democracy by maintaining peace.

He warned that no one will be allowed to disrupt peace and asked political leaders to avoid making inflammatory remarks.

"I urge all political leaders to avoid engaging in divisive and destructive politics that have no place in modern Kenya. For my part, I know that my most serious obligation is to sustain and protect the peace and security of all our people without exception," he said.

OPPOSITION

In his address, President Kenyatta congratulated MPs and senators who won in the August 8 elections, which he said were conducted peacefully.

He said Kenyans voted for three women governors, senators and youthful lawmakers.

The President arrived in Parliament a few minutes to 3pm and inspected a guard of honour.

Majority of MPs and senators in the House are from Jubilee Party as opposition legislators has said they will boycott the ceremony, arguing that the President has no powers to convene the new Parliament.

Notably absent from the ceremony were Supreme Court judges.

HOUSE BUSINESS

On Monday, President Kenyatta dared National Super Alliance MPs and senators to make good their threat to skip the first sitting.

He said Jubilee has enough numbers to conduct House business without the opposition lawmakers.

The opening of the 12th Parliament will pave the way for the bicameral House to officially start its work.

The President traditionally uses the inauguration of the House to set the government legislative agenda for the new term of office.

However, this might not be the case as President Kenyatta is facing a fresh presidential election.

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