Reprieve for parties as court shelves two-thirds gender rule

The High Court Wednesday issued temporary orders stopping the electoral agency (IEBC) directive that political parties should comply with the two-thirds gender rule.

The ruling comes as a sigh of relief for the parties that had until Thursday, May 12 deadline to implement the principle.

However, it is a major setback for the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, which is staring at strict timelines ahead of the August 9 poll.

A city lawyer had moved to court to challenge the directive including a decision to impose communal punishment on all candidates by barring them from the elections if the sponsoring political party fails to implement the gender-parity rule.

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The commission had extended the deadline to give parties ample time to revise their nomination lists.

“Today, the Commission has reviewed the list of Political Parties that have resubmitted their respective nomination lists and found that there is a notable improvement in compliance. However, there are some Political Parties that are yet to resubmit their nomination lists due to time constraints,” said IEBC chair Wafula Chebukati in a statement Tuesday.

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The commission noted that the extension of the deadline is in keeping with the provisions of Article 83 (3) of the Constitution which stipulates that the conduct of elections should be facilitative, warning that there shall be no further extension beyond the May 12th date.

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As of April 28th, only 81 political parties had complied with the requirement.

The constitution stipulates that no one gender should occupy more than two-thirds of appointive and elective positions in the government.

For the 290 single-member constituencies, not more than 193 aspirants can be from one gender.

For the 47 Senate positions, not more than 31 can be from one gender.


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