MPs fail again on two-thirds gender vote but get lifeline

April 27, 2016 7:02 pm
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This is after 195 MPs voted in favour and 28 against the Bill, which required the support of at least 233 to pass through the Second Reading after which it was to be transmitted to the Senate for consideration and approval/FILE
This is after 195 MPs voted in favour and 28 against the Bill, which required the support of at least 233 to pass through the Second Reading after which it was to be transmitted to the Senate for consideration and approval/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 27 – Speaker Justin Muturi has ordered a fresh vote on a bill that seeks the realisation of the two-thirds gender principle to take place next Thursday afternoon.

This is after 195 MPs voted in favour and 28 against the Bill, which required the support of at least 233 to pass through the Second Reading after which it was to be transmitted to the Senate for consideration and approval.

Overview
  • The National Assembly failed to meet last year's August deadline for enactment of the law, which would place more women in leadership through affirmative action
  • Lobbying for the crucial constitution Bill went on until late Tuesday evening as the 68 Women MPs hosted their male colleagues to a dinner to obtain their support

In his ruling, Muturi cautioned MPs against failure to cast their votes after it emerged they did not register their abstention.

“On that day we will use our mechanism to know who has not voted one way or the other. Standing Orders 76 states that it is gross disorder for you to be present and fail to vote or register an abstention. Be bold enough to express yourself because that is how you make decisions,” the Speaker directed.

At the time of voting 247 MPs were present in the House.

MPs Cecily Mbarire (Runyenjes) and Johnson Sakaja (Nominated) had called for disciplinary action to be taken against the errant MPs.

“From the look of the vote that we have just cast, there are some members who did not vote at all. What does that mean, Mr Speaker, when members do not say yes, do not say no; they do not abstain?” posed the Runyenjes MP.

“Let us not squander this opportunity at this monumental part of our country to make history,” Sakaja pleaded with the Speaker.

The Bill tabled by Majority Leader Aden Duale seeks to top up the number of women in Parliament should the General Election fail to meet the constitutional threshold.

The Duale Bill further provides for the achievement of the gender principle in Parliament within 20 years from the 2017 polls.

It also provides that persons nominated serve for a maximum of two terms.

It also seeks to amend various electoral laws, including the Political Parties Act, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Act, and the National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC) Act, to effect Article 100 of the Constitution that seeks to promote representation of marginalised groups.

The National Assembly failed to meet last year’s August deadline for enactment of the law, which would place more women in leadership through affirmative action.

Lobbying for the crucial constitution Bill went on until late Tuesday evening as the 68 Women MPs hosted their male colleagues to a dinner to obtain their support.

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