Reprieve for parties as court halts gender rule
Political parties seeking to participate in the August 2022 General Election yesterday got a reprieve after the High Court issued orders suspending a requirement by the electoral commission on the two-thirds gender rule.
Justice Antony Ndung’u of the High Court Judicial Review Division issued a stay of the impugned notice by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) issued on April 27 after a city lawyer Adrian Kamotho challenged its legality.
“I’m satisfied that an arguable case has been established to warrant the grant of the leave sought. The leave so granted shall operate as a stay of the impugned notice,” Justice Ndung’u ruled.
The judge further directed Kamotho to serve IEBC and the office of the Registrar of Political Parties with the pleadings before the mention of the case on May 18.
The orders came after Kamotho filed an application under certificate of urgency before Milimani High Court yesterday seeking to quash the notice issued by the electoral commission over the requirement by political parties to comply with the two-thirds gender rule.
Kamotho terms the notice by the IEBC seeking to punish all candidates who fail to meet the two-thirds gender rule by barring them from elections on August 9 as unreasonable and draconian.
He urged the court to issue a stay of the notice issued by IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati to political parties asking them to ensure the rule is met when they present their lists of nominees to the National Assembly and the Senate pending the hearing of the petition.
In its notice to political parties, the IEBC cited a judgment delivered in Constitutional Petition No. 19 of 2017 in Katiba Institute vs IEBC.