The Chief Justice of Kenya David Maraga gave an advisory note to the president seeking dissolution of the 12th parliament for failing to embrace the two-third gender rule as required by the constitution.
Constitutional lawyers have termed the move by the CJ as opportune because the current composition of the National Assembly contradicts the constitution in terms of appropriate gender balance in the House.
However, the Parliament is planning to appeal Maraga’s advisory note in the High Court. The legislature has rebuked Maraga’s advice to the president, terming it not only an “ill” advisory note but also unconstitutional and premature. Seemingly, Maraga will lose yet another war to the remaining two arms of government.
The President has many options to let the 12th parliament stay until 2022. First, he can decide to buy time and let the parliament fight for itself because the majority of its members are anti-CJ’s petition.
The second option is to seek an interpretation of the Chief Justice’s advice import through the Attorney-General Kihara Kariuki. Article 165 (3) mandates the HIGH Court to determine all issues relating to the Kenyan constitution. Hence, the court will respond to AG’s concerns by explaining the meaning and applicability of Maraga’s petition and advice on any possible constitutional crisis associated with CJ’s advisory note.
The president can also exploit Article 216 (7), which does not limit him to a specific period within which to dissolve the parliament. Article 10 of the Kenyan constitution also requires public participation, which may also require time and resources.
Another considerable factor is the funds. Conducting an election requires the efficient allocation of funds and resources. Hence, the president may act in the interest of the common ‘mwananchi’ and ignore CJ’s advice.
The CJ’s petition seeking dissolution of the parliament has attracted conflicting opinions, dividing both members of parliament and the key arms of the government.
GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings