Factbox: Kenya’s constitutional transition

(BestGrowthStock) – Kenyans have voted for a new constitution that could reshape the political landscape in east Africa’s largest economy. What happens next?

– The new legal framework will be promulgated by President Mwai Kibaki on August 27.

– After this, the new constitution replaces the previous one bequeathed by former colonial power Britain at Kenya’s independence in 1963.

– Once the new constitution is promulgated into law, parliament will set up an implementation oversight committee to oversee preparation of the bills that must be enacted into enabling legislation for the new charter.

– Some sections of the current charter will therefore continue to apply until parliament passes the more than 40 laws envisaged in the new constitution to bring it into force.

– Parliament will have to enact laws to form key commissions such as the Implementation Commission, Land Commission, Revenue Allocation Commission, Salaries and Remuneration Commission among others outlined in the draft.

– Even though the new constitution proposes a presidential system, the president and the prime minister will continue in office until the next election due in 2012.

– The ruling coalition will be in place until the 2012 elections, according to an accord signed by President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga in 2008 to end ethnic violence after a disputed election. It can only fall apart if one of the two principals pulls out or resigns.

– If this happens before the 2012 elections, the coalition will be dissolved and a general election should be held within 60 days, according to the new constitution.

– If the president dies in office, elections will be held within 60 days after the vacancy arises.

– If the prime minister dies in office, he will be replaced by a member of his party and the coalition will proceed.

– The new constitution also provides that even though there is provision for a senate, the current national assembly will continue to function until the next elections.

– A U.S.-style Supreme Court has to be established within one year of the new law coming into force. Until then, the current Court of Appeal will perform the functions of the Supreme Court.

(Reporting by Wangui Kanina and James Macharia; Editing by David Clarke)

Factbox: Kenya’s constitutional transition