Kenya: The National Assembly Fails to Raise the Requisite Numbers to Pass the Not-More-Than Two-Thirds Gender Principle Bill

The bill seeking to actualize the Constitutional provision on the not more than two-thirds gender principle in Parliament has been shelved to a later date due to lack of quorum. The Bill had been sponsored by the Leader of majority party in the National Assembly, seeks to amend the Constitution to provide for the realization of Affirmative Action as articulated in several articles in the Constitution of Kenya 2010, among them Article 27 (6) and (8), Article 81 (b), Articles 100 (a), Schedule Five among others. This is the third time the national Assembly has failed to raise the quorum to pass the bill. In 2017, President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, instructed National Assembly Majority Leader to prioritize Gender Bill before the term of the 11th parliament expired. This followed a ruling that was delivered by the High Court in Nairobi on March 29, 2017 when the High Court ordered Parliament to pass the law within 60 days.

Since the vote was not taken, the Bill will be reintroduced again in 2019. The former Primee Minister, Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga and former vice President Hon. Kalonzo Musyoka were in the National Assembly to witness the historic vote being taken. Since 2012, NIMD, through its local partner in Kenya, the Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD-Kenya) has been supporting initiatives towards the realization of Affirmative Action under the 2/3rds gender principle.

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