Kenya: Parliament Fails To Beat Deadline On Gender Rule

By John Ngirachu

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Parliament has failed to beat the 60-day deadline set by a judge in March to enact laws to bring into the effect the two-thirds gender rule.

Neither the National Assembly nor the Senate have obeyed Justice John Mativo’s order to pass the law.

“If Parliament fails to enact the said legislation within 60 days,” Justice Mativo ruled on March 29, “the petitioners or any other person shall be at liberty to petition the honourable Chief Justice to advise the President to dissolve Parliament.”

The case at the High Court was filed by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, the Kenya Human Rights Commission, the Centre for Rights Education and Awareness, and the Community Advocacy and Awareness Trust.

The failure means that the State human rights watchdog and the three non-governmental organisations can petition the Chief Justice to ask the President to dissolve Parliament.

Parliament is in its last days, with both the Senate and the National Assembly set to adjourn indefinitely on June 15, giving MPs time for campaigns until the end of their terms on August 8.

This would take the punch out of a decision to dissolve Parliament, even if the organisations, or anybody else, petitions Chief Justice David Maraga to have the President do so.

The National Assembly is currently going through motions of the Second Reading of a Bill to amend the Constitution so that members of the gender that is not well represented are nominated to Parliament until the balance is achieved. This is the same Bill that was rejected on May 5 last year.

Speaking when he was initiating debate on the Bill, Majority Leader Aden Duale dismissed the suggestion that the House could be dissolved.

Source: allafrica.com

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