Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Court stops IEBC from implementing two-thirds gender rule

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IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati officially declared August 9 as the General Election date; he also outlined dates for the pre-election processes.

The High Court yesterday issued temporary orders stopping the IEBC directive that political parties 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.

He argued that the directive is oppressive and pointless and its effort of enforcing the gender-parity rule is likely to be an effort in futility.

Justice Anthony Ndung’u in his ruling said he is persuaded that the applicant has made out an arguable case and a stay would be efficacious in the circumstances.

“Applying those principles to the instant matter, I am persuaded that the applicant has made out an arguable case and a stay would be efficacious in the circumstances. I accordingly grant stay in terms of prayer 3” he ruled.

The case will be mentioned on 18th May, 2022.

“It is directed that the substantive motion be taken out and served within the next 3 days and be served together with submissions in support. Responses must be filed within 3 days of services to be filed contemporaneously with submissions by the respondent” he added.

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.

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.

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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