ASSESSMENTS

A Kenyan Court Blocks the Government’s Plan to Reshape Itself

MIN READMay 17, 2021 | 18:29 GMT

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) leans in to listen to Deputy President William Ruto during a launch event for the government’s Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) bill on Nov. 27, 2019.

(TONY KARUMBA/AFP via Getty Images)

A court ruling against Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta’s plan to restructure the government ahead of 2022 elections will heighten political unrest, raise the risk of violence ahead of the polls and potentially upend the government’s fiscal consolidation efforts. In a four-hour televised address on May 13, five High Court judges declared the Constitution of Kenya Amendment Bill, 2020 -- better known as the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) bill -- unconstitutional. The decision stops the BBI process in its tracks as Kenyatta and the bill's proponents had hoped to hold a referendum by the end of July in order to make the necessary changes to the government ahead of August 2022 elections. Kenya’s solicitor general said the government would appeal the decision. ...

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