‘No BBI… No election!’ Atwoli says President’s term to be extended if BBI appeal flops
COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli now says that if the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) does not see the light of day, then the union will appeal to Parliament to extend the president’s term by one year.
Speaking in Nakuru on Thursday, Atwoli said the 2022 polls should be postponed until the BBI is passed, adding that they will be forced to use different avenues in the judicial system available if the Court of Appeal does not approve of it.
“If they (Court of Appeal) don’t give us a ruling we will move to the Supreme Court and if we still don’t get it we will have to start afresh and we will appeal through our parliamentarians to extend the elections by even one year until we get BBI,” said Atwoli.
The COTU Secretary General maintains that next year’s elections should not be held until the reforms proposed in the BBI are approved, noting that the initiative is the only remedy that will ensure the polls are peaceful.
“…If there will be no BBI we will look into an issue of making sure we have BBI before we go for the elections. We want peace in this country as workers. After every five years the recipient of problems are workers… We will appeal to Kenyans to appeal to Members of Parliament if there is no BBI we will postpone elections until we get BBI. If there will be no BBI there will be no elections. That one I can tell you for free,” said Atwoli.
The High Court in Nairobi stopped the bid to amend the 2010 Constitution through BBI in a ruling that was critical of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
A five-judge bench ruled that the President does not have authority under the Constitution to initiate changes to the Constitution, and that a constitutional amendment can only be initiated by the President through the Attorney General in Parliament through a Parliamentary initiative.
The court further ruled that President Kenyatta had violated provisions of Chapter 6 of the Constitution on leadership and integrity, and that he can be sued in his personal capacity and not as the head of state.
Kenyatta, ODM leader Raila Odinga and the electoral body IEBC have since appealed the High Court ruling.