What you need to know:
- KDA said the advisory also means Parliament should suspend its operations until clarity on its tenure is determined, fearing a litigant could go to court and challenge the validity of any laws the legislature passes this time.
A lobby for Kenyans in the diaspora is calling on President Uhuru Kenyatta to respond to the advisory from the Chief Justice David Maraga to avoid uncertainty in the country.
Mr Maraga on Monday advised the President to dissolve Parliament over the two-thirds gender rule.
The Kenya Diaspora Alliance (KDA) said the President should act because the advisory may stall services at key government departments.
"A democratic state is governed by laws and that means respecting decisions that result from the law. The President should either follow the advisory, and dissolve parliament, or at least have it challenged in court," Dr Shem Ochuodho, the Global Chairperson of KDA said on Wednesday.
"Anything to the contrary is impunity. Our view is the President should heed the position of the CJ and dissolve parliament."
The decision by Justice Maraga has elicited a heated debate on whether the advisory can be challenged in court or whether the President is now railroaded into ending the current term of Parliament.
KDA said the advisory also means Parliament should suspend its operations until clarity on its tenure is determined, fearing a litigant could go to court and challenge the validity of any laws the legislature passes this time.
"The Speakers should put on hold any parliamentary proceedings because as it stands, Parliament is adjourned. The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) should also pause," he said without citing a specific article in the Constitution.
Traditionally, parliamentary proceedings or sessions are determined by the Speakers.
So far, neither the Senate nor National Assembly Speaker have advised MPs on an adjournment. In fact, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi accused Maraga of acting "prematurely" and termed the advisory to the President as unconstitutional.
Mr Muturi, who chairs the Parliamentary Service Commission, said the commission will challenge the advisory in the High Court, which has exclusive jurisdiction to determine constitutional matters.
The National Assembly has actually failed to enact the appropriate gender balance law four times. Proposals such as alternate nomination of female candidates in constituencies as well as forcing political parties to nominate a certain number of women also failed to go through.
KDA said the advisory if obeyed, provides an opportunity to change other bits of the Constitution and clarify the rights and obligations of Kenyans living abroad.
"The diaspora, despite forming about 15 percent of eligible voters, have no representation in Parliament. They have voting rights but they don't enjoy them," he said.
In 2015, the group with other lobbies, went to court seeking to have the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to register and ensure the diaspora vote.
The Supreme Court agreed with the diaspora, but the IEBC was only able to register and conduct elections for the diaspora in the US, UK, South Africa and in countries in the East African Community.