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Chief Justice Maraga asks president Uhuru to dissolve Parliament

By Susan Njire

Chief Justice David Maraga has advised president Uhuru Kenyatta to dissolve Parliament for failing to enact the two thirds gender rule. In an advisory dated 22 September, Maraga said he was responding following six petitions seeking his advice on the matter. “ The petitions are based on the ground that despite four Court orders compelling Parliament to enact the legislation……. Parliament has blatantly failed,refused or neglected to do so………” Said Maraga.

The CJ said it was his constitutional duty to advise Uhuru. Article 81(b) of the constitution reads that no more than two thirds of the members of elective public bodies shall be of the same gender. Parliament has from 2013 struggled to meet the constitutional requirement but all proposed legislation on the matter have failed to pass.

Article 261(7) mandates the chief justice to advise the president to dissolve Parliament if it is unable to pass laws as stipulated in the constitution. It is expected that there will be a legal challenge on the exact effect on Maraga’s move. Dissolving Parliament would mean that Kenyans would return to the polls to vote in new representatives in the next 90 days who would serve for only two years up to the general election in August 2022.

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