Kenya: Political parties directed to adhere to two-third gender rule during nomination.

By Samuel Ouma

IEBC chair Wafula Chebukati

Kenyan electoral agency, the Independence Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), has threatened to reject 2022 political party nomination lists that will fail to implement the two-thirds gender rule.

IEBC chair Wafula Chebukati said political parties are yet to formulate rules and regulations to actualise the two-third gender principle during nominations of the 290 constituency-based elective positions for members of the National Assembly and 47 county-based elective positions for members of the Senate despite the court order issued in 2017.

Mentioning a case that pitted Katiba Institute and the commission in the High Court, Chebukati said that IEBC was ordered to come up with administrative mechanisms to ensure that the two-third gender principle was realised among political parties during nomination.

Katiba Institute is a research, litigation, and community engagement organization operating as a non-profit, non-governmental body with the principal objective of achieving social transformation.

Speaking during a media stakeholder forum in Mombasa on Monday, he further noted that the commission was directed to reject any nomination list of a political party for its candidates that do not comply with the two-third gender rule, which has remained lull in parliament.

“The commission shall comply with the orders of the court by ensuring that political parties’ nomination lists for elective positions in the Senate and National Assembly comply with the two-third gender rule before they are accepted by the commission for candidates’ registration,” he said.

At the same time, he announced February 9, 2022, as the deadline for resignation for civil servants seeking elective posts.

Section 43(3) of the Elections Act 2011 states that a public officer who intends to contest an election under this Act shall resign from the public office at least six months before the election date.

On insecurity during polls, Chebukati noted that the commission had engaged security agencies like the National Police Service to maintain peace and order.

He further issued a stern warning to politicians engaging in vote bribery, noting the vice is on the rise.

“The office of the Director of Public Prosecutions has powers to order investigations and prosecute the suspects. Stern action will be taken against the perpetrators of electoral-related offences. The commission shall strictly enforce the electoral code of conduct that comes into force during the campaign period,” he added.

The IEBC boss also decried over financial challenges with one year remaining to the much-anticipated polls. He said the elections will cost $409 million, but the Treasury has allocated $263 million, leaving the commission with a deficit of $146 million.

He said that should the government fail to allocate more funds; the commission will be forced to cut down on some critical electoral activities, including reducing mass voter registration to 15 days from 30 days.

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