Hours after Chief Justice David Maraga wrote to President Uhuru Kenyatta to dissolve parliament, politicians from across the political divide have responded swiftly to the historic move.
Siaya Senator and seasoned lawyer James Orengo has hailed the decision as timely, noting however that it will come with a challenge.
“CJ Maraga’s advice to the president to dissolve parliament is momentous. Probably the most significant and historic from a constitutional standpoint. How we apply foundational principles and values of the rule of law and constitutionalism is now the big test”. Wrote Orengo.
The National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi on the other hand maintained that the move is unrealistic.
“We must not lose sight of the real challenges in implementing this matter and turn Parliament into a punching bag on account of gender parity. The clamour for dissolution of the current Parliament on account of failure to enact the two-third gender legislation is at the very least, unrealistic,” he stated.
In his terse letter, Maraga pointed out that “The petitions are based on the ground that, despite four Court orders compelling Parliament to enact the legislation required to implement the two-thirds gender rule in accordance with Article 27(3) read together with Articles 81(b) and 100 of the constitution, Parliament has blatantly failed, refused and/or neglected to do so.
“Your Excellency, “the two-thirds gender rule” is an acronym for the constitutional imperative which prohibits any form of discrimination in the appointive and elective positions in our country on the basis of one’s gender,” read Maraga’s letter in part.
Article 81 (b) of the Constitution states that not more than two-thirds of the members of elective public bodies shall be of the same gender.
Maraga has advised President Uhuru Kenyatta to dissolve both the Senate and the National Assembly for failing to pass the two thirds gender legislation as stipulated in the Constitution.
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.