Measures to enable the new constitution work for Kenya
Posted Thursday, July 29 2010 at 20:54
Ahead of the August 4 referendum, nation.co.ke will be highlighting changes that the proposed constitution envisions. The goal is to encourage informed public debate.
How will the proposed constitution affect the existing laws and rights in the event that it is promulgated?
If the constitution is promulgated, it shall take effect in stages — some parts taking place at different times.
Certain parts of the constitution, such as the Bill of Rights, will take effect immediately and supersede the existing provisions that may be in conflict with them. This means that citizens shall be able to enjoy the entitlements within the Bill of Rights as soon as it takes effect.
The enforcement of the Bill of Rights shall be done under the current rules and regulations until new rules are made. Absence of new rules will not prevent the full enforcement of rights by individuals claiming their rights are infringed.
Some provisions shall be suspended until after the next General Election. These are the chapters relating to the establishment of the Senate and the new provisions on election to Parliament and the county governments and the provisions relating to the election of the President.
The vesting of county government’s in the National land Commission shall also be suspended until the National Land Commission is formed.
Where Parliament will be required to enact some laws to effect some changes as stated in the proposed constitution, the current Constitution shall apply, for example, regarding changes to citizenship such as permission for dual citizenship and regulations for the registration as a citizen, the current provisions on how citizenship by naturalisation operates.
The provisions on the Executive and Cabinet and by-elections to the National Assembly shall continue to apply in line with the current law as read together with the National Accord and Reconciliation Act (2008) until the next general elections are held.
However, the General Election shall be held under the regulations of the new constitution. Thus the new constitution shall not affect the structure of the Executive or the National Assembly immediately.