How Will Dissolving Parliament Resolve Gender Rule Crisis? – Says ODM Party Leader, Raila Odinga

Photo of OFM Party Leader, Raila Odinga

Wakeupafrica360 correspondent in Kenya has reports about the ODM Party Leader, Raila Odinga has urging the Kenya President, Uhuru Kenyatta to consult widely before making a decision on the Chief Justice’s to dissolve the Parliament over the two-thirds gender rule. He made this statement on Wednesday where he wondered how dissolving Parliament would resolve the problem. Raila Odinga who is also one of the Envoy for Infrastructure reacted to the issue saying that the Chief Justice’s advice has placed the country and the people of Kenya in a precarious Constitutional and Political situation that will need a careful deliberation before any action can be taken. Lets recall that on Monday, The Chief Justice, David Maraga advised the President, Uhuru Kenyatta to dissolve Parliament for failing to enact legislation required to implement the two-thirds gender rule. In the advisory dated September 21, The Chief Justice made it know that he was reaponding to six petitions seeking his advice on the matter. The petitions are based on the ground that despite four court orders compelling Parliament to enact the legislation, they had blatantly failed, refused and neglected to do so. The Chief Justice therefore made it known that it was his constitutional duty to advise President, Uhuru Kenyatta. This didn’t go down well with people like Raila Odinga who came out to say that there are numerous ramifications to the country and the people of Kenya in dissolving one of the arms of Government which if not mitigated sufficiently could have an adverse effect in the life of the nation and its people. According to him, “While we all have different opinions on the desirability or even wisdom of the action proposed,  we have all been ushered into circumstances that require a consensus on the way forward failing which we may throw away the baby with the bathwater. Though the country has been thrown into this situation because of failure by Parliament to enact the two-third gender rule as provided for in the Constitution, it remains unclear how the dissolution of Parliament would resolve the problem. In circumstances where institutions have failed as is the case with Parliament currently, the Constitution gives power to citizens to act directly and not through their elected representatives to have their aspirations realized. I appeal to the President to consult as widely as possible before taking any action on this matter and ensure that the overall interests of the people are served by any action he finally decides to take,”

Photo of the Chief Justice Of Kenya, David Maraga

The State House has on Monday asked Attorney General Kihara Kariuki to challenge the advisory. It has also be learnt that the Attorney General is set to go to court later in the week to seek an interpretation to Chief Justice David Maraga’s advisory. Reacting  to the issue, a cabinet Secretary who sought anonymity said that even though the president may ignore the advice, the government has decided to seek an interpretation on the way forward from the courts. However, the government suing would cause another shutdown with the Judiciary, given the already frosty relationship existing between the two arms of government. Speaker of the National Assembly and PSC Chairman, Justin Muturi also reacted to the issue saying that the advisory coming over the failure of Parliament to effect the two-thirds gender rule is ill-advised, premature and unconstitutional. According to him, “The commission regrets that the Chief Justice appears to be willing, even eager, to plunge the country into a constitutional crisis without exercising the wisdom and circumspection that is expected of the high office he holds,”

Photo of the National Assembly Court Room

Meantime, the Centre for Multi-Party Democracy, the Institute for Social Accountability and female MPs urged the President to heed to the advice of the Chief Justice. CMD executive director Frankline Mukwanja said the law does not give the Chief Justice or the President leeway on when and how to implement the constitutional provision on the two-thirds gender principle. It requires that no more than two-thirds of any elected or appointed public body shall be of the same gender. According to him, “Equality is about 50:50 and the two-thirds gender principle is the bare minimum set by the Constitution,”

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