Parties ordered to enforce two-thirds gender rule by October

Parties ordered to enforce two-thirds gender rule by October

The High Court has directed that all political parties to enforce the two-thirds gender rule policy within six months.

The court ruled that political parties must formulate rules and regulations to govern nomination for prospective candidates for 290 Members of Parliament and 47 Senators to ensure women participation fully.

In the judgement, Justice Chacha Mwita, said that in case the political parties fail to comply, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) should put in place mechanisms to enforce the requirement.

“The national elections agency must reject nomination lists presented by political parties that do not adequately conform to the policy to ensure gender parity in future polls,” the Judge ruled.

The Judge, however, clarified that the order will not apply to the August 8 General Election to avoid confusion since it is inconceivable for political parties to restructure their nomination lists in the face of the strict deadlines ahead of the elections.

The Judge noted that the controversy surrounding the two-thirds gender rule was unjustifiable on grounds that Parliament had not enacted the necessary legislation. The judge maintained that Women and marginalized groups have constitutional rights to representation and it is not a favour they were demanding.

He continued that Gender equality is not a fight between men and women and that its all about human dignity.

The petition was lodged by Katiba Institute against IEBC for being reluctant in ensuring that political parties comply with the gender rule specifications.

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