Kenya’s Chief Justice David Maraga has asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to dissolve parliament because it does not have enough female MPs.
In a letter to Mr Kenyatta, the chief justice said the failure to have more female MPs was in breach of the constitution, and tantamount to discrimination against women.
The constitution states that one gender group cannot occupy more than two-thirds of parliamentary seats. However, women hold far fewer than the mandatory 116 seats in the 350-member parliament.
Parliament had either failed or neglected to enact legislation required to implement the gender rule, despite four court orders to do so, the chief justice said.
He was now legally required to advise the president to dissolve parliament, the chief justice added.
Parliamentary Speaker Justin Muturi said the dissolution of parliament was an unrealistic option.
Kenya’s new constitution was introduced in 2010, and the two-thirds gender rule should have been enacted within 5 years.
While there has been debate on the matter, the male-dominated parliament is yet to find a formula for getting more women into parliament, with several members arguing against creating more seats specifically for women and challenging them to compete more at the ballot box.