September 20, 2020

Lawyers file major case against IEBC, Parliament

The Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA Kenya) has on Thursday (17/8/17) sued the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), the National Assembly, the Senate and Attorney-General.

FIDA filed the case in a move to compel the electoral commission to present to Parliament a list of nominees that conforms to the gender rule in the National Assembly.

The Lawyers argued that Kenya had not implemented the gender rule which states that any electoral body should not have more than two-thirds of its members from one gender.

“It is necessary that this matter is heard and determined quickly as court remedies can be implemented to solve the unconstitutionality of the composition of the 12th Parliament.

“The number of women in the list of elected MPs as published by IEBC is less than a third of the total number of legislators contrary to the mandatory provisions of the Constitution,” said Lawyer Eunice Lumallas.

FIDA further demands that swearing in and resumption of business by the 12th parliament declared unlawful, considering the composition of both houses, adding that the gender rule was to be implemented before the General Election.

In March, High Court Judge John Mativo gave Parliament 60 days to implement the two-thirds Gender Rule failure to which it risked being dissolved.

“An order is hereby issued directing Parliament and the Attorney-General to take steps to ensure that the required legislation is enacted within a period of 60 days from the date of this order and to report the progress to the Chief Justice,” Justice Mativo said.

He said the failure by Parliament to enact the legislation was a notable violation of the rights of women to equality and freedom from discrimination.

The judge also pointed out concern that if the legislation was not done before the polls, the next National Assembly would not be compliant to the gender principle.

He said that the law provides that if the time stipulated by Parliament will already be dissolved, the next house would be required to do that legislation or still risk dissolution.

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