Cabinet amends polls date, gender law

June 7, 2012 3:05 pm


President Kibaki chairing a past Cabinet meeting in State House, Nairobi/ PPS File
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 7 – The Cabinet on Thursday withdrew the controversial Constitution Amendment Bill that sought to change the elections date and provide a formula for gender balance in Parliament.

In its stead, the Cabinet approved a new Bill that seeks to insert a formula in the Constitution providing for how parties will nominate members to ensure the National Assembly and the Senate meet the two thirds gender rule.

“The amendments dispensed of the issue of the election date and frees Members of Parliament to discuss the provision of gender equity in the next Parliament,” a statement from the Presidential Press Service indicated.

The new Bill proposes that women who are to be appointed to meet the constitutional gender quota in Parliament shall be nominated from a political party lists that will be presented before elections.

Former Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo last September tabled in Parliament the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill 2011 seeking to push the date of the general election from the second Tuesday of August to the third Monday of December on the fifth year after every poll.

The same Bill also sought to stipulate how the National Assembly and the Senate shall nominate MPs after the elections to ensure not more than two thirds are of the same gender.

The new Bill approved by the Cabinet on Thursday proposes that political parties prepare party lists prior to the elections, from which members are to be nominated to both Houses of Parliament to meet the gender balance.

The Cabinet further approved the Assumption of the Office of the President Bill that will see a committee established to manage how a new president assumes office.

It will also manage the handing over process by the sitting president to the president-elect as well as coordinate the hand-over process.

The ministers agreed that the Bill will also declare a public holiday on the day the president will be sworn-in.

Further, the Cabinet approved the conversion of a loan that was granted to the Horticultural Crops Development Authority (HCDA) by the Japanese Government in 1994 into a grant.

It also approved the payment of pension to officers who served in the Judicial Service between January 1, 1993 to January 30, 2003 on ex-gratia basis, based on the Judicial Services and Salaries terms.


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