CMD warns of gender rule crisis

September 5, 2012 4:51 pm
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Under article 3(2) of the new constitution, any attempt to establish a government unless in compliance with the constitution is unlawful/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 5 – The Centre Multiparty Democracy is appealing to political parties to reach a compromise on their nomination rules and reserve ‘special seats’ in their strongholds during parties’ nominations to avoid the legal bottle-necks the country may face due to non-compliance with the rule.

Speaking after a meeting with political party representatives, CMD Chairman Justin Muturi sought for repealing of the nomination rules proposed by Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to save the country from a constitutional crisis looming over the gender rule ahead of elections due next year.

“If the gender issue is not addressed amicably, the country risks waking up on March 6 to a monumental legal and constitutional crisis as any Kenyan could go to court to stop Parliament or Senate from sitting,” said the umbrella body for political parties.

Under article 3(2) of the new constitution, any attempt to establish a government unless in compliance with the constitution is unlawful.

Muturi also cautioned the country’s operations risk stalling in any eventuality the gender rule is not achieved in the Senate and Parliament as they are the only State organs mandated to appropriate funds for running Counties and the Central government.

“This will mean the newly created County Governments will be starved as Parliament and the Senate cannot transact any business, more so, appropriation of funds to Counties, “said Muturi. “The situation may go out of hand as ‘unconstitutional government’ cannot call for another election,” he added.

He urged the Speaker to rally Members of Parliament to pass necessary amendments that will help the country out of the impasse.

Article 81(b) of the new constitution provides that, “Not more than two-thirds of the members of elective public bodies shall be of the same gender.” However, it is silent on how the provision can be implemented.

CMD Vice-Chairman Alice Wahome observed the issue to be solved is one-third gender rule and not about women as is perceived.

The Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs has organised a stakeholders’ retreat in Mombasa on Friday to debate on the formulae to be used to achieve the two-thirds provision.

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