DISSOLVING PARLIAMENT

PSC decision to go to court the best

The percentage of women in Kenya's Parliament is lower than east African neighbours

In Summary

.Some political analysts said the advisory does not compel the president to act.

.Women's rights groups said the move was a significant step in the fight for fairer gender representation in politics

Kenya's top judge David Maraga has advised the President to dissolve the country's male-dominated Parliament for failing to enact the constitutional two-thirds gender rule.

Despite the 2010 Constitution stating no more than two thirds of any elected or appointed body can be of the same gender, women hold 22 percent of seats in the National Assembly, and 31 percent in the Senate.

Court rulings since 2012 have directed Parliament to pass legislation to enforce the gender rule or risk being dissolved, but previous attempts have failed with female legislators accusing their male colleagues of deliberately blocking the efforts.

Within the reading of Article 261 (7) of the Constitution, Maraga is right but his decision causes a bigger crisis than he wanted to cure.

Dissolving Parliament in effect means the country will go for a general election, which will require billions of shillings. The country has 23 months to the next constitutional election.

Since there is no time limit provided for the President to act on the advisory, the Parliamentary Service Commission should seek the court's guidance on the way forward.