The junta could still take orders from the new President

See the chaotic scenes as Kenya elects new president. For weeks, as Nairobi was rocked by a military takeover, many Kenyans struggled with the new reality: that the country was not the same as when it was under British rule. They watched in growing unease as the new junta used the emergency law to block journalists from leaving the capital, and some feared that, once the military stepped in, life for many Kenyans would return to the old way of things, as before the country was thrown into decades of violence.

They also feared that the new government might take orders from President Uhuru Kenyatta, who was inaugurated last year on a wave of goodwill from his predecessors. With Kenyan elections being held on a single ballot in December, the junta could still use the law to prevent them, as they did when they took over Somalia in late 2011. The new President Kenyatta has yet to take power in Somalia and will, therefore, be eligible to serve in a third term in office, after he has been elected by parliament to a fourth term in office, in 2020.

“Even if he is not elected in 2020, he will be in power before the time to put him up for election in 2021,” said Mr. Jomo. “This is because the constitution stipulates that the president can serve up to four terms in office. He can only be voted out through a vote of an estimated 300,000 Kenyans.”

For many, the choice before them is stark. They have had it with a state controlled by a “dictator,” as some Kenyan politicians have nicknamed Uhuru Kenyatta. And, as they saw in Somalia, they also have the votes to get rid of him.

But for now, they have to wait for the new leader to take power in a swearing in ceremony on Saturday.

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