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Uhuru, Raila, Ruto parties fail gender test

Uhuru, Raila, Ruto parties fail gender test
By Justus Karanja
President Uhuru Kenyatta's Jubilee Party, Raila Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and Deputy President William Ruto's United Democratic Alliance (UDA) parties risk being locked out of elections if they do not meet the two thirds gender rule in their nominations in less than 48 hours.
In a statement to the parties, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati directed all parties to achieve the two-thirds gender rule by Monday, May 9, at exactly 11:59pm for the parliamentary nominees.
So far, 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.
At the top of the list is Jubilee Party, which is headed by President Uhuru Kenyatta, UDA led by Deputy President William Ruto and ODM headed by former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga.
Other affected parties are Musalia Mudavadi's Amani National Congress (ANC), Movement for Growth and Democracy (MDG) party, Narc of Charity Ngilu, Narc Kenya of Martha Karua, Mwangi Kiunjuri's The Service Party (TSP) and Irungu Nyakera's Farmers Party.
The Constitution provides that nominees of the Parliamentary seat in a single party should not exceed more than two-thirds of one gender.
After the party primaries concluded, however, IEBC found that 43 parties had more male nominees for the National Assembly slot while 33 parties had more male nominees for the Senate slot.
This means that the affected parties should strip some of its male nominees' certificates in preference of their female counterparts.
“Non-compliant political parties will not participate in the 2022 General Election for the said elective positions.
“This is pursuant to the Court Order issued in Constitutional Petition No. 19 of 2017 in Katiba Institute Vs Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission,” read a statement from the IEBC Chairman.
Former Chief Justice, David Maraga, in September 2020, advised President Uhuru Kenyatta to dissolve Parliament for failure to meet the two-thirds gender rule.  
If forced to comply, political parties may have to find strategies to avoid litigation with nominees expected to raise a furore and sue parties' elections boards, especially after they were involved in gruelling party primaries.
Murang'a Governor Mwangi Wa Iria's party, Usawa Kwa Wote is among parties that have complied with the gender rule.

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