Reacting to a letter by Chief Justice David Maraga which advised President Uhuru Kenyatta to dissolve Parliament for failing to enact the Two-Thirds gender rule, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has fired back against the CJ for his ‘unrealistic’ advisory.
The National Assembly Speaker said various electoral laws may need to be amended, and that the issue of two-thirds gender rule should be subjected to a referendum over the cost of implementing it.
Muturi also told off Maraga, arguing that the head of the highest court in the land should not use the parliament as his punching bag.
The speaker further said that it was not practical to dissolve parliament for not meeting the two-thirds gender rule as envisaged in the constitution.
“We must not lose sight of the real challenges in implementing this matter and turn Parliament into a punching bag on account of gender parity,” said Muturi in a statement on Monday.
In a 5 page opinion, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi says “the clamour for dissolution of the current Parliament on account of failure to enact the two-third gender legislation is at the very least, unrealistic.”
“Given that legislators decide through voting in Parliament, this would in essence mean that there are an additional 100 votes of nominated women legislators, yet these legislators are not a direct expression of the will of the people. That elected legislators wield more legitimacy relative to nominated legislators can be deduced from article 123 of the Constitution with respect to voting in the Senate,” he said.
The CJ said it was his constitutional duty to advise Uhuru and called for dissolution of Parliament in response to six petitions seeking his advice on the matter in an advisory dated September 21.
“The petitions are based on the ground that despite four court orders compelling Parliament to enact the legislation… Parliament has blatantly failed, refused, or neglected to do so….” Maraga said.
“Let us endure pain if we must…” he said.