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Court directs Parliament to enact gender rule, or face dissolution

In the verdict issued Wednesday, Justice Mativo told the lobbies, or any other person, to write to the Chief Justice to advise the President to dissolve Parliament if the law is not implemented in two months.

The High Court has ordered Parliament and the Attorney General to take steps that will ensure legislation of the two-thirds gender rule within 60 days.

In his ruling, Justice John Mativo said the National Assembly and the Senate failed in their obligation to implement the legislation that gives effect to the principle of not more than two-thirds of all appointed and elected positions can come from one gender.

He said the failure has resulted to a violation of women’s to equality and discrimination.

Three lobbies namely, Centre for Rights Education & Awareness (CREAW), Community Advocacy & Awareness Trust (CRAWN) and the Kenya National Human Rights Commission (KNHRC) sued speakers of both houses and the Attorney General in September last year.

They moved to court to protest against failure for the enactment of the disputed legislation necessary for the implementation of the gender rule even after the deadline elapsed on August 27, 2016.

They argued that there will be unfair representation in both houses soon after the August 8 polls.

In 2015, High Court judge Mumbi Ngugi ordered the AG and the Commission on Implementation of the Constitution to prepare and table the law for legislation.

However, after failure by the National Assembly to implemented the law, even after a one year extension, the lobbies faulted that reluctance.

The Kenya Human Rights Commission and Federation of Women Lawyers were listed as interested parties in the case while the National Gender and Equality Commission as well as the Law Society of Kenya were a friend of the court in the case.

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