High Court stops Maraga’s order on dissolution of parliament

KEY POINTS

  • The ruling indicated that the suspension would be in place pending the determination of a petition filed by two Kenyans.

  • Chief Justice David Maraga has advised President Uhuru Kenyatta to dissolve Parliament for failing to enact legislation required to implement the two-thirds gender rule.

  • Maraga said that the 10th Parliament did not have enough to enact the legislation required to effect the two-thirds gender rule.

The High Court, on Thursday, September 24, suspended Chief Justice David Maraga’s advisory to President Uhuru Kenyatta to dissolve Parliament.

The ruling indicated that the suspension would be in place pending the determination of a petition filed by two Kenyans.

Chief Justice David Maraga has advised President Uhuru Kenyatta to dissolve Parliament for failing to enact legislation required to implement the two-thirds gender rule.

In an advisory dated September 21, 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….” Maraga said.

The CJ said it was his constitutional duty to advise Uhuru.

“Let us endure pain if we must…” he said.

Maraga said that the 10th Parliament did not have enough to enact the legislation required to effect the two-thirds gender rule.

According to Maraga, the Supreme Court under former CJ Willy Mutunga had directed Parliament to enact the requisite legislation by August 27, 2015.

The CJ said that several petitions had been raised challenging Parliament to enact the law.

However, Parliament has failed to enact it despite four orders asking members to enact it.

“Parliament, once again, failed to enact the requisite legislation, thus the provoking six petitions before me requiring me to advise you dissolve it.”

 

David Maraga with Uhuru Kenyatta in the past
David Maraga with Uhuru Kenyatta in the past

Maraga added that the two-third gender rule is the acronym for the constitutional imperative which prohibits any form of discrimination in the appointment and elective positions in the country on the basis of one’s gender.

“Women and men have the right to equal treatment, including the right to equal opportunities in political, economic, cultural, and social spheres.”

The Supreme Court president said that the objections from the Speakers from both houses regarding the same to him were that the six petitions were incomplete.

“The Speakers contend that the six petitions are incompetent and bad in law for the reason that no court order was ‘transmitted’ to either the CJ or to the Parliament as required by Article 261(6)(b) .”

The CJ added that the Attorney General did not file any response to the petitions.

 

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Fulfilling his constitutional duty, the CJ said that “in the circumstances, let us endure pain if we must if only to remind ourselves, as a country, that choices, and particularly choices on constitutional obligations, have consequences.”

“…let us endure pain if only to remind the electorate to hold their Parliamentary representatives accountable…being a democracy that has chosen to be governed by the rule of law, we must say no to impunity and hold everyone accountable for their actions or missions.”

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