Gender rule requirement illegal, court tells agency
The electoral commission yesterday suffered a major blow after the High Court declared its decision requiring political parties to comply with two-thirds gender rule unconstitutional.
Justice Antony Mrima termed the requirement by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) as illegal for lack of public participation.
“A declaration is hereby issued that the decision contained in the letter dated April 27, 2022 by the IEBC requiring the compliance with the two-thirds gender rule principle in the submission of political parties nominations’ lists contravenes the Constitution for want of public participation,” Justice Mrima ordered.
Direct derogation He said that the decision by the IEBC to block political parties for non-compliance on May 5, 2022 was hence unreasonable and unfair.
“The decision by IEBC was an administrative action, which did attain the test in Article 47 of the Constitution for want of reasonable an procedural fairness,” Mrima stated.
He noted that the letter by IEBC further violates Articles 27, 38 and 91 of the Constitution as it amounts to a direct derogation of political parties.
Lawyers Cliff Ombeta and Adrian Kamotho had challenged the decision of IEBC to lock out political parties from participating in the August 9 General Election for failing to observe the two thirds gender rule.
The petitioners had argued that the directive on the rule sought to bring confusion in the electoral process.
“The decision seeks to cause confusion within the Kenyan electoral system, creating a scenario where the General Election may not be held freely and fairly thereby being unlawful and unconstitutional,” stated the petitioners.
Ombeta also argued that the decision was meant to disenfranchise candidates and other voters owing to the fact that the nomination period had passed.