2 NGOs move to court on the two-thirds gender rule

Lobby group Centre for Rights Education and Awareness moved to court yesterday to stop the 12th Parliament from holding its first session.

CREW wants an order from the court directing Parliament to pass the necessary legislation to implement the two-thirds gender rule during its first sitting set for next week.

CREW and CRAWN Trust further want a declaration that the failure by Parliament to meet the two-thirds gender principle contemplated under articles 27(8) and 81(b) amounts to a violation of the rights of women to equality and freedom from discrimination and are a violation of the Constitution.

The petitioners want the court to declare that the composition of the National Assembly and Senate has failed to meet the constitutional threshold.

They argue that in less than seven days, the 12th Parliament will hold its first sitting, yet the election of the new Members of Parliament has not achieved the principle.

The lobbies said the High Court declared the failure by Parliament to enact the required legislation within the time frame specified by the Supreme Court advisory opinion was a violation of the Constitution. They also said the Constitution provides that any attempt to establish a government other than in compliance with the Constitution is unlawful. “It is in the interest of justice that the matter is heard and determined expeditiously before the swearing-in of the Members of the National Assembly and the Senate,” the petitioners said.

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