Kenyan legislators fail to pass the gender bill

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A motion on the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill 2018, which seeks to implement the two-thirds gender rule in Parliament, has failed for the fourth time.

The Bill flopped on Wednesday due to lack of quorum after only 174 out of the 233 MPs required to vote turned up in the National Assembly.

For quorum to be achieved, at least two-thirds majority or 233 of the 349 MPs must be present in the House before the vote is taken.

“As per my direction, if the MPs present are less than 233 then voting shall not proceed. We have all seen we have 174 members are present. I cannot put the question because it would be an exercise in futility. The motion is thus lost,”Speaker of the House Justin Muturi declared.

In November last year, Majority Leader Aden Duale, who is the mover of the bill, requested for the postponement of the vote on the bill to February this year due to lack of quorum.

The Bill was supposed to have been enacted within the first five years after the promulgation of the new Constitution which was in 2010.

However, it has faced a myriad setback including constitutional extensions and court rulings that have seen its enactment delayed.

The Bill seeks to introduce extra nomination slots for women since the Constitution states that no gender shall be more than two-thirds both in elective and appointive positions in public service.

Currently, both the National Assembly and Senate fall short of the two-thirds thresh-hold, hence, more women nomination seats need to be introduced in both Houses.

Debate on the Bill can now only be reintroduced in Parliament after six months.