The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has ordered all political parties participating in the upcoming General Election to adhere to the two-thirds gender rule in all the required elective posts.
While referring to a previous petition filed in 2017 that called for gender balance for Members of Parliament and the Senate, the commission said the same principle would be applied in the nominations and the August polls.
“The import of the Judgement is that all Political Parties take measures to ensure the actualisation of the two-thirds gender principle during nominations for the 290 Constituency based elective seats for Members of the National Assembly and the 47 County-based elective positions for Members of the Senate,” IEBC chair Wafula Chebukati said in a statement.
Chebukati went further to outline the requirements that parties should meet as they seek to present the lists of the nominated candidates.
For MPs, where the constitutional requirement calls for 290 members in a given constituency, Chebukati noted that not more than 193 candidates can be of the same gender.
On the same note, for the Senate position, Chebukati stated that in a list representing the 47 counties countrywide, a party should not field more than 31 candidates of the same gender.
Consequently, the IEBC chair said the same threshold would be applied for parties that present less than 290 members.
“In the event, a Political Party presents a list including less than 290 candidates for Constituency based elective positions, the two-thirds gender principle will still apply for the number of names presented,” Cheukati stated.
“In the event, a political party presents a list including less than 47 candidates for County-based elective positions for Members of Senate, the two-thirds gender principle will still apply for the number of names presented.”
The Commission similarly cautioned political parties against flouting the requirements saying that the parties risk the rejection of their document.
The IEBC Chair said the commission would communicate the rejection in writing to the Political Party after which a revised list would be expected within two days. He, however, noted that any party that fails to comply with the guidelines risks having their candidates barred from participating in the polls come August.
“The Commission will provide the Political Party an opportunity to revise the list and re-submit the revised list to the Commission within 48 hours of receipt of communication from the Commission,” he explained.
He added: “Do note that a revised list that does not comply with the two-thirds gender principle, will be rejected in its totality and all candidates on the list cannot stand for election on August 9th 2022.”