The Star (Nairobi)

9 October 2012

Kenya: Aspirant Wants Court to Rule On One-Third Gender Rule

Attorney General Prof Githu Muigai has petitioned the Supreme Court to render with finality, an advisory opinion on the one-third-two-third gender ... ( Resource: Kenya's Supreme Court Petitioned on Gender Rule

Uasin-Gishu county governor aspirant Julius Bitok has asked the courts to interpret the one-third gender clause in the constitution. He said the courts' directive is essential because the implementation of the constitution has been politicised.

"This matter should be left to the courts so that there is clarity on whether the requirement should be progressive or operational in the next election," said Bitok.

"The parties involved should tread with great caution and avoid blame game and confrontation when addressing the matter." Bitok claimed there are attempts by some individuals to water down the gender issue.

"Delegating this entire process that is enshrined in the constitution to political parties is missing the mark by a wider margin. The parties may have some influence on this but they may not be able to address the matter completely," he said.

The former financial manager at Moi University in Eldoret also observed that political parties stand to lose should they be compelled to nominate women without subjecting them to a competitive process.

"Nomination through such process will contravene the spirit of the constitution since there will be no competition as the constitution stipulate," said Bitok during an interview in his office in Eldoret town yesterday.

His remarks comes barely a few days after women aspirants from the 47 counties , who had assemble in Eldoret, demanded a mechanism that will ensure that women are given priority by political parties during nominations.

This was after the bill seeking to amend the constitution to allow for more women to be nominated for various political positions was withdrawn from Parliament after MPs failed to support it.

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