IEBC to reject nomination lists if two-thirds gender rule is not met

Wafula Chebukati IEBC

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The electoral commission has said it will reject lists of nominated aspirants from political parties that do not meet the two-thirds gender rule.

A creation of Article 27(8) of the Constitution, the rule provides that no one gender should occupy more than two-thirds of appointive and elective positions in the government.

Previous attempts have failed to entrench the rule, including a proposal in late 2020 from former Chief Justice David Maraga to President Uhuru Kenyatta to dissolve Parliament because it had failed to enact legislation on gender rule.

Now, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has asked political parties to ensure the rule is met when they present their lists of nominees to the National Assembly and the Senate.

For the 290 single-member constituencies, not more than 193 aspirants can be from one gender.

For the 47 Senate positions, not more than 31 can be from one gender.

“In the event a nomination list does not comply with the two-thirds gender requirement, the commission will reject the list and will communicate the rejection in writing to the political party,” IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati said in an April 27 letter to political parties.

Non-compliant parties will be given 48 hours to revise and resubmit their lists, and if they fail to meet the rule again, “the list will be rejected in its totality and all candidates on the list cannot stand for election on August 9, 2022.”

In its letter, the IEBC cited a judgment delivered in Constitutional Petition No. 19 of 2017 in Katiba Institute vs IEBC.

“The import of the judgment is that all political parties take measures to ensure actualisation of the two-thirds gender principle during nominations for the 290 constituency based elective seats for members of the National Assembly and the 47 county based elective positions for members of the Senate,” the IEBC said.

The rule applies even if parties present nominees for less than the 290 elective posts in the National Assembly or the 47 in the Senate.

“In the event a political party presents a list including less than 290 candidates for constituency based elective positions, the two-thirds gender principle will still apply for the number of names presented,” it said.

It went on: “In the event a political party presents a list including less than 47 candidates for county based elective positions for members of the Senate, the two-thirds gender principle will still apply for the number of names presented.”

Parties have until the end of business today, April 28, to submit lists of their nominees.

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