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Kenyan Chief Justice David Maraga calls on president Kenyatta to dissolve the parliament

Sep 21, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — The Chief justice of Kenya David Maraga has advised the president to dissolve the parliament for not meeting the constitutional requirement of two-third gender rule.

The advice follows six petitions at the court by different people. He said that the cases filed between April 2019 and July 2020 have since been consolidated into one. 

After the filing of the first two petitions in 2019, the Chief justice wrote to both the National assembly and the Senate to enact the two third gender rule but both houses did not comply.

“It is incontestable that Parliament has not complied with the High Court order, as such, for over 9 years now, Parliament has not enacted the legislation required to implement the two-thirds gender rule which, as the court of Appeal observed in its said judgement, it is clear testimony of Parliament’s lackadaisical attitude and conduct in this matter.” Said the Chief Justice of Kenya, Justice David Maraga

“Consequently, it is my constitutional duty to advise Your Excellency to dissolve Parliament under Article 261 (7) of the Constitution.” He continued

The CJ said that after writing to the two houses, the parliament and the senate, both houses said that they had bills pending in parliament and therefore they needed more time. 

They never reverted to the petitions thereafter.

Both speakers later filed preliminary objections to his summons following the receipt of the petitions but the attorney general never responded.

Following today’s call on the president by CJ Maraga, both speakers have argued that Articles 97 and 98 have set a ceiling on the composition of the two Houses of Parliament, it is impossible to enact legislation to give effect to the two-thirds gender rule without violating the citizen’s political rights to vote for candidates of their own choice and/or vie for any elective position in any public body or office.

“Given the crisis imposed upon the country by the Coronavirus pandemic, it will be against public interest if the Chief Justice’s advises the President to dissolve Parliament; and that the Chief Justice’s advice to the President will trigger a constitutional crisis as Parliament’s legislative, oversight, vetting of State Officers and other roles like passing of the budget roles will stall,” they wrote.

Speaking to a local media station, the president of the law society of Kenya Nelson Havi said that there are two consequences for failing to dissolve the parliament. 

First, any laws made by the current parliament past the given timeframe will not be effective. This will also apply to the bills that are passed after the deadline. 

Secondly, the treasury should stop remitting salaries to the members of parliament.

According to Havi, the president is supposed to act within 21 days after the advisory is made.

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