Reprieve For Political Parties After Chebukati Last Minute Directive

  • IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati at the Constitutional Commissions & Independent Offices (CCIOs) on April 13, 2022.
    IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati at the Constitutional Commissions & Independent Offices (CCIOs) on April 13, 2022.
    Courtesy IEBC
  • The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has announced extension of the deadline for political parties to comply with the two-thirds gender rule.

    In a press statement released on Monday night May 9, Commission chair Wafula Chebukati made a last-minute intervention, to save a number of political parties which risked being locked out of the August 9 polls due to non-compliance.

    In the latest directive, political parties have until May 12 to abide by the gender regulations, as the clock ticks towards the general election.

    "In keeping with the provisions of Article 83 (3) of the Constitution, which stipulates that the conduct of elections should be facilitative, the Commission extends the deadline for political parties to submit their lists of nominated persons to May 12, 2022, at 5 pm," a statement by IEBC read in part.

    IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati During the Official Opening of the Political Parties Liaison Committee Engagement Forum Held On Friday, October 1
    IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati During the Official Opening of the Political Parties Liaison Committee Engagement Forum Held On Friday, October 1
    IEBC

    Initially, IEBC had afforded political parties an opportunity to comply with the two-thirds gender rule by Monday, May latest by 11:59 PM.

    Chebukati through the statement however noted that some parties had complied with the directive by updating their nomination lists.

    "Today, the commission has reviewed the list of Political Parties that have resubmitted their respective nomination lists and found that there is notable improvement in compliance," Chebukati stated.

    The initial IEBC report indicated that 43 parties had not achieved the two-thirds gender rule for National Assembly nominations. For the senate, 33 parties had not met the requirement.

    Among the parties that risked being locked out of polls due to non-compliance included the Jubilee Party, which is headed by President Uhuru Kenyatta, UDA led by Deputy President William Ruto and ODM headed by former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga.

    Other political parties that had been affected by the IEBC directive were Musalia Mudavadi's Amani National Congress (ANC), Movement for Growth and Democracy (MDG) party, Narc of Charity Ngilu and Narc Kenya of Martha Karua as well as the Mwangi Kiunjuri's The Service Party (TSP).

    The push by the Chebukati-led Commission is in line with the constitution which stipulates that nominees of the Parliamentary seat in a single party should not exceed more than two-thirds of one gender.

    The gender rule almost threw the country into a constitutional crisis after the emeritus Chief Justice David Maraga advised President Uhuru Kenyatta to dissolve Parliament for failure to pass the gender laws in September 2020.

    ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi at a campaign rally in Nyamira County on Thursday, May 5, 2022.
    ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi at a campaign rally in Nyamira County on Thursday, May 5, 2022.
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