The Star (Nairobi)

11 December 2012

Kenya: One-Third - Gender Rule Not for March 4 - Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has, through a majority opinion, advised that the two-thirds, one-third gender principle in the Constitution does not have to be ... ( Resource: Kenya's Supreme Court Issues Opinion on Gender Rule

The one thirds gender rule will be achieved progressively but cannot be applied in the March 4 general election, the Supreme Court has ruled.

Four out of the five judges hearing the case ascended to the ruling. The fifth judge, Chief Justice Willy Mutunga refused to support the decision stating that there is no reason why the one-third gender rule cannot be applied in March 2013.

The case was filed by the Attorney-General Githu Muigai in October who sought advice on the application of the constitutional threshold for gender representation.

The AG, who is the chief legal adviser of the government, moved to court after Parliament failed to agree on the rule. The Constitution requires at least one-third of the members of the legislature be of one gender.

The AG argued that there there is an ambiguity in the Constitution as a result of Article 81(b) which provides that "not more than two-thirds of the members of elective public bodies shall be of the same gender".

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