High Court dismisses petition seeking formation of caretaker government

Justice John Mativo at the Milimani Law Courts during Ekuru Aukot case. George Njunge /standard

The High Court has dismissed a petition seeking the formation of a caretaker government if fresh presidential elections are not held.

The High Court ruled on Tuesday that only the Supreme Court has the powers to determine the petition seeking the formation of a caretaker government after November 1, when the 60-day period within which the Supreme Court ordered a repeat presidential poll lapses.

Justice John Mativo said the High Court lacked jurisdiction to hear and determine questions relating to the conduct of presidential elections, putting an end to activist Okiya Omtatah’s push for the formation of a caretaker government.

“I am constrained to rule that the substantial issues raised in the petition fall outside the powers of this court. Some of the disputes are not ripe for determination while other issues raised by the petitioner are grounds for challenging the results of a presidential election,” ruled Mativo.

His decision means that in the event the repeat presidential election does not succeed, the ball will shift to the Supreme Court to decide whether to order a caretaker government after November 1, when President Uhuru Kenyatta’s temporary incumbency expires.

Justice Mativo found that the best place to argue what should happen if the election is not conducted is the Supreme Court.