Parliament could be declared unconstitutional over gender, body says

In a statement, the body said that all parties must ensure that at least a third of its aspirants, elected and nominated members are women, to beat a constitutional provision.

The Centre for Multiparty Democracy – Kenya (CMD-K) on Tuesday said the threat that Parliament could be declared unconstitutional over gender representation was real.

The two-thirds gender rule that says that not more than two-thirds of all appointed and elected positions can come from one gender has been a thorn in the flesh in the Senate and the National Assembly, with both Houses failing a cumulative six times to pass a Bill to guarantee it.

On Tuesday, CMD-K chairperson Omingo Magara said parties should follow the law.

“If we do not realise it, the next Parliament will be unconstitutional. But we do not want to be the naysayers, let us hope that the parties will get it right,” said Mr Magara in Nairobi.

Martha Karua, a 2013 presidential candidate and now a Kirinyaga gubernatorial aspirant, said that there was hope that women will beat the one-third threshold in the August 8 General Election.

“The quest for women inclusion is a journey we have started and we are determined to achieve this goal,” she said.

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