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'Attorney General has two thirds formula,' Gender Commission

The National Gender and Equality Commission has revealed that the Attorney General Githu Muigai has the formula for the realization of the two thirds gender principle.

Commission Chairperson Winfred Lichuma said the technical working group set up last year to propose a formula for achieving the two thirds gender principle in the National assembly had submitted practical proposals to the Attorney General for cabinet approval and subsequent tabling in parliament for debate. “We believe the Honorable Attorney General will present the most practical and workable formula to give us a framework whose deadline is August 2015”. said Lichuma.

In November 2012 the Attorney General moved to the Supreme Court seeking an advisory opinion on article 81 (b) of the Constitution that provides that not more than two thirds of the members of elective public bodies shall be of the same gender. The move was prompted by the fact that there is no stated framework for ensuring that the principle is met at the National assembly should the number of women elected as Mps fail to meet the two thirds constitutional threshold.

The Supreme Court ruled in December 2012 that the principle would be realized progressively. The ruling effectively insulated the 11th parliament from any legal challenge of being unconstitutional by virtue of failing to meet the two thirds gender principle.  Currently parliament has a shortfall of 49 women to comply with the two thirds gender principle.

The principle was however realized in the county assemblies since article 177 of the Constitution provides for political parties to nominate the number of members necessary to meet the gender threshold.

Lichuma who spoke in Busia town during the event to mark the International women’s day warned against procrastinating on the issue saying the country would be thrown into an unprecedented constitutional crisis if the formula is not in place.

 “Decision time is now. We urge our elected leaders to rise up to the occasion and pass the necessary legislation to operationalize the two thirds gender principle,” said Lichuma.

Attorney General has two thirds formula”, NGEC



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