Gender Commission to go to court over parties' nomination lists
The gender commission will on Tuesday ask the courts to stop the electoral commission from using the political parties’ nomination lists for failure to comply with the constitutional requirements.
National Gender and Equality Commission chairperson Winnie Lichuma on Sunday said they want political parties and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) compelled to comply with constitutional rules on formation of the list.
She said after scrutinising the list recently made available to the public, they realised that the seats would be “awarded to political cronies” and that some candidates running for elective posts names appear on the lists – as a fall-back position.
“It is unfortunate that we have very selfish political players who will use all means to erode the affirmative action given for the vulnerable groups,” she said at a press briefing held in their Nairobi offices.
Further, Ms Lichuma faulted the structure of the lists saying they complied with the alternates between male and female candidates in the priority as required by the Constitution.
“We find the same an abuse of the set processes, rules and regulations and a violation of the Constitution and we ask IEBC to reject it in totality,” she said.
The Commission has instructed its lawyer to move to court on Monday to stop IEBC from using the list and further that political parties and IEBC be compelled to comply with the constitution.
“As a body mandated to monitor the realisation of the equality principle we shall ensure the enforcement of the Constitutional principle through set judicial mechanisms,” she said.
Ms Lichuma went on to add: “We do not understand why IEBC has taken too long mediating political parties; none of them has complied with IEBC set guidelines and the Constitution.”
At the same time, the Commission called on Kenyans to vote for female candidates in Monday's General Election particularly those vying for positions in the county assemblies.
The chairperson said the two-thirds gender rule still applies in the county assembly positions.
“The Supreme Court ruling did not change representation at the County Assembly and failure to elect women shall trigger a nominations exercise in order to comply with the two thirds gender rule,” Ms Lichuma warned.
She said the Commission has deployed 200 observers on the ground throughout the country to monitor the election.
They will keep a look out for adherence of the electoral code by all players, logistical facilitation of our target groups - such as availability of braille, sign language interpreters and ramps and any malpractices especially those concerning the vulnerable groups.
“We shall document groups and will make appropriate recommendations to improve on the principle of equality and non-discrimination,” Ms Lichuma said.
She appealed to Kenyans to vote wisely and ensure they elect as many women, persons with disabilities, youth and minority candidates who have offered their candidature for the various elective posts.
“Finally we urge Kenyans to come out in large numbers to cast their ballot. In order that the incoming government enjoys legitimacy and popular mandate, the presidential winner must garner 50 per cent plus 1 vote of all the votes cast,” Ms Lichuma said.
“Such popular mandate would also save the country from the rigours and expenses of a second round of elections.”