Plans by a Kenyan political coalition to swear in their candidate as president would be a treasonable offense, Kenya Attorney-General Githu Muigai warned Thursday.
Muigai’s warning stems from plans by the National Super Alliance to swear in opposition Raila Odinga — the opposition candidate who unsuccessfully ran against President Uhuru Kenyatta — as “the people’s president” on Tuesday.
Kenyatta was inaugurated Nov. 28 after winning an election rerun a month earlier, in which Odinga refused to run over voting integrity concerns. The first election in August also showed Kenyatta as the winner.
During a news briefing on Thursday, Muigai warned the opposition group that swearing in a president who’s not officially been declared the winner is high treason, an offense that can result in the death penalty.
“The criminal law of the Republic of Kenya, in Article 40 of the penal code provides or stipulates that that sort of process, is high treason,” Muigai said.
The attorney general said because Kenya already has a president, the move would be outside of the constitution.
“Any attempts to swear in any person as president other than the one elected in line with the constitution and in a manner provided for in the law is unlawful, illegal null and void,” Muigai told reporters.
Odinga claims to have won the August election, saying it was rigged through manipulation of numbers in government servers.
By Susan McFarland