Uhuru urges MPs to vote for two-thirds gender rule

Kenya Women Parliamentary Association members after a media briefing at parliament buildings. Photo/File
Kenya Women Parliamentary Association members after a media briefing at parliament buildings. Photo/File

President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged MPs to turn up in large numbers to vote for a Bill on the two-thirds

gender rule.

Members of the National Assembly are set to debate and vote on the

Bill that would allow an increase in the number of special seats in Parliament.

The Bill, if passed, will guide the achievement of the two-thirds requirement on National Assembly and Senate membership.

"I believe in respect for the constitution and the rule of law. I urge all members of every party to turn up

today and vote for the Act, Uhuru said.

He noted in a statement on Wednesday that leaders

must model the example of submission to the constitution and the laws that they pass.

"I call upon all our members to vote for this Bill. The vote will be public; the people of Kenya are waiting to see you make history this afternoon," he said.

"We need to pass this Bill into law, to comply with the constitutional provisions on the composition of elective offices in Kenya. More broadly, we need to pass this legislation to secure gender equity in government."

Noting that the Bill

has been subject to "very wide" stakeholder consultation, Uhuru said its present form has been shaped by different views, among them the advisory opinion of the Supreme Court.

On April 22,

women MPs said they will pass the Bill and started

to turn up and vote in their favour.

Parliament kicked off an emotive debate on the rule on

n March 24 as Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill 2015 entered the second reading.

The National Assembly failed to meet last year’s August deadline for enactment of the law, which would place more women in leadership through affirmative action.

The Bill introduces clauses for proportionate allocation of special seats to the number of seats won by a political party after elections.

It provides for the achievement of the gender principle in Parliament within 20 years from the 2017 polls.

Majority leader Aden Duale, , said it is time for women to achieve their constitutional right to political leadership, since it doesn’t require a referendum or extra expenses for passage.

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