Relief For Azimio, Kenya Kwanza as Court Stops IEBC Directive

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    IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati addresses the media at a press conference in August 2021
    File
  • The High Court of Kenya on Wednesday, May 11, handed political parties a relief after it stopped the implementation of a directive given by IEBC over the compliance of the two-thirds gender rule.

    In the ruling delivered by Justice Anthony Ndung'u, the court noted that there was enough ground to temporarily suspend the gender parity rule introduced by the commission - until the matter is properly heard and determined. 

    Nairobi lawyer Adrian Kamotho had moved to court to challenge the directive arguing that it was biased and disadvantaged coalition parties.

    Undated file image of a gavel on the bench in the courtroom
    File image of a gavel on the bench in the courtroom
    Kenyans.co.ke

    "I am persuaded that Kamotho has made out an arguable case and a stay would be efficacious in the circumstances,”  Justice Ndung'u ruled.

    Kamotho, in his petition, claimed that IEBC was punishing political parties by mandating them to abide by the gender parity rule while not enforcing the same on independent candidates.

    “The notice issued by the IEBC is discriminatory and prejudicial since it unfairly targets political parties while leaving out the independent candidates who stand an equal chance of winning the elective positions,” the petition read in part.

    According to IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati, candidates contesting for various elective posts in the August 9 General Election would be disqualified if the sponsoring parties failed to meet the two-third gender threshold in their lists. 

    "Non-compliant political parties will not participate in the 2022 General Election for the said elective positions. This is pursuant to the courtoOrder issued in Constitutional Petition No. 19 of 2017 in Katiba Institute Vs Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission,” read a statement in part.

    Chebukati explained that 43 parties have not achieved the two-thirds gender rule for National Assembly nominations while 33 are yet to meet the requirements for the Senate nominations.

    Among the parties whose nomination lists were rejected by the electoral commission include the Jubilee Party, UDA, ANC, Narc, Narc Kenya, The Service Party and the Movement for Growth and Democracy (MDG) party.

    On May 9, IEBC extended the timeline for parties to submit the names of their candidates, in line with the new regulations.

    IEBC faces yet another legal battle, after Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria, moved to court seeking orders to overturn a rule set by the commission banning presidential and gubernatorial candidates from picking public servants as running mates.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta, ODM leader Raila Odinga, and Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka during the Azimio La Umoja Council meeting at KICC on Thursday, April 21, 2022.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta, ODM leader Raila Odinga, and Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka during the Azimio La Umoja Council meeting at KICC on Thursday, April 21, 2022.
    Courtesy