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AG warns Parliament of dissolution over failed gender rule

In a letter to Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi and his Senate counterpart Ekwee Ethuro, the AG noted that the law can now only be revisited after six months/FILE

In a letter to Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi and his Senate counterpart Ekwee Ethuro, the AG noted that the law can now only be revisited after six months/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 1 – Attorney General Prof Githu Muigai has cautioned Parliament of a possible dissolution over their continued failure to pass the Constitution of Kenya Amendment Bill of 2015 on the two thirds gender principle.

In a letter to Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi and his Senate counterpart Ekwee Ethuro, the AG noted that the law can now only be revisited after six months.

The Constitution required Parliament to enact the law in a bid to give effect to the two thirds gender principle by August 27 last year but it was extended by one year.

“The legitimacy of the incoming Parliament post the 2017 General Election could be called into question where the two thirds gender principle is not attained with all the attendants’ risks and consequences,” he warned.

He has urged both Houses to urgently convene a stakeholders meeting in a bid to resolve the contentious issues in order to curb an imminent constitutional crisis.

In 2012 the Supreme Court in an advisory opinion pronounced itself clearly saying the two thirds gender rule must be implemented progressively.

The Constitution of Kenya Amendment Bill 2015 shot down by the National Assembly sought to amend Articles 97 and 98 of the Constitution to provide for the creation of special seats to top up on the number of elected female legislators.

Two months ago the National Gender and Equality Commission similarly sounded warning to the MPs that it will move to the Supreme Court to declare Parliament illegal for failing to pass the law within the required timeline.

The two thirds gender rule proposes that no gender should comprise more than two-thirds of members in any State job or institution.

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