CJ Maraga initiates process of dissolving Parliament, pulls surprise move

Unexpected.

Chief Justice David Maraga writes to President Uhuru Kenyatta, advises him to dissolve Parliament for failing to pass two thirds gender rule

Historic move could see Kenyans forced to elect new MPs and Senators by December to serve for 2 years up to the 2022 General Election

Chief Justice David Maraga has initiated the process of dissolving Parliament in a rather unprecedented constitutional move.

Maraga has advised President Uhuru Kenyatta to dissolve both the Senate and the National Assembly for failing to pass the two thirds gender legislation as stipulated in the Constitution.

Article 81 (b) of the Constitution reads that not more than two-thirds of the members of elective public bodies shall be of the same gender.

Parliament has from 2013 struggled to meet this constitutional requirement but all proposed legislation on the matter have failed to pass.

Article 261 (7) mandates the Chief Justice to advise the President to dissolve Parliament if it is unable to pass laws as stipulated in the Constitution.

"If Parliament fails to enact legislation in accordance with an order under clause (6)(b), the Chief Justice shall advise the President to dissolve Parliament and the President shall dissolve Parliament," the constitution states.

It is expected that there will be a legal challenge on the exact effect of Maraga's move.

While as the word used is advise, the Constitution uses the word shall with regard to President Kenyatta dissolving Parliament creating a legal gap on whether the advise is compelling.

Dissolving Parliament would mean that Kenyans would return to the polls to vote in new representatives.

This would mean Kenyans may have to elect new MPs and Senators in the next ninety days who would serve for only two years up to the General election in August

2022.

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