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Kenya’s CJ Wants Parliament Dissolved Over Number Of Female MPs2 minutes read

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David Maraga, Chief Justice and President of the Supreme Court of Kenya, has asked the country’s president to dissolve parliament.

According to Maraga, the National Assembly of the Republic of Kenya does not have enough female lawmakers, a situation in conflict with the constitution.

Kenya’s 2010 constitution stated that no more than two-thirds of any elected or appointed body can be of the same gender. Presently, women hold 22% of seats in the country’s lower house of parliament, and 31% in the upper house.

In a letter to President Uhuru Kenyatta, dated September 21, Maraga said the failure to have more female MPs was in breach of the constitution and discrimination against women.

In the advisory, Maraga said he was responding following six petitions, adding that it was his constitutional duty to advise Uhuru.

He said that the Supreme Court under former CJ Willy Mutunga had directed Parliament to enact the requisite legislation by August 27, 2015.

“Despite four court orders compelling Parliament to enact the legislation… Parliament has blatantly failed, refused, or neglected to do so….” Maraga added.

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.

“There is no doubt that the dissolution of parliament will cause inconvenience and even economic hardship. The fact that Kenya is in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic only exacerbates the potential impact of the decision,” wrote Maraga.

“Yet that is the clear result Kenyans desired for parliament’s failure to enact legislation they deemed necessary. We must forget that more often than not, there is no gain without pain.”

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.

East Africa Politics News

Tanzania Election: Mwinyi Becomes 8th President of Zanzibar

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The ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party’s presidential candidate in Zanzibar, Hussein Mwinyi, has won the presidency of the semi-autonomous state, beating 14 other candidates.

Mwinyi polled 76.27 per cent of the vote which was equivalent to 380,402 votes.

His rival Maalim Seif Sharif of the Alliance for Change and Transparency (ACT) was arrested while trying to vote on Tuesday before being released hours later.

Mr Mwinyi is the son of Ali Hassan Mwinyi who served as the second President of the United Republic of Tanzania from 1985 to 1995.

Zanzibar has a history of contested polls, including in 2015 when they were annulled for not being free and fair. The opposition boycotted the re-run and the CCM party’s candidate was declared the winner.

Ali Mohammed Shein is now stepping down after serving two five-year terms in office.

Zanzibar had 566,352 registered voters with 498,786 turning up at the polling stations on Wednesday October 28, a number that was equivalent to 88.07 per cent.

Mwinyi becomes the eighth President of Zanzibar since the revolution in 1964.

He has called on all the other contestants to come together to build one Zanzibar because as citizens they will need each other to build a prosperous Zanzibar.

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East Africa Politics News

Tanzania Elections: Chadema Says Won’t Accept Results As Locked Out Observers Preach Transparency

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Tundu Lissu, the presidential candidate of the Party for Democracy and Progress, otherwise known as Chadema, has said he will not accept the results of Wednesday’s general election due to voting irregularities.

Lissu alleges that there were widespread irregularities and his agents were prevented from accessing polling stations.

Chadema, the main opposition party in Tanzania, also said there were irregularities in the semi-autonomous archipelago of Zanzibar, where unrest marred early voting on 27 October.

The main opposition candidate in Zanzibar, Maalim Seif Sharif, has been arrested.

Meanwhile, a panel of election observers who were not allowed into Tanzania has urged electoral bodies there to ensure transparency when announcing the winning candidates.

This follows complaints that Tanzanian opposition parties were denied from observing voting in some polling stations.

Tanzania Elections Watch, which is composed of representatives from civil rights groups, has also expressed concern at the deployment of the military in the semi-autonomous archipelago of Zanzibar.

“We are concerned that the incidents reported so far in the process bear questions on the credibility of the electoral process,” it said in a statement.

The authorities in Tanzania only allowed delegations from the East Africa Community, the African Union and Southern African Development Community to monitor the elections.

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East Africa Politics News

Tanzania Elections: Chadema’s Party Chairman Loses Parliamentary Seat

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Freeman Mbowe, the chairman of the Party for Democracy and Progress, commonly known as Chadema, has lost his parliamentary seat in the Hai constituency of the Kilimanjaro region as results from the Tanzania general elections trickle in.

Saasisha Mafuwe, the candidate of the ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) translated as Party of the Revolution, won 89,786 votes while Mbowe won 27,684.

There have been concerns over the credibility of the election results – voiced first by Chadema who’ve alleged irregularities, and now by Tanzania Elections Watch which was barred from observing.

Other constituencies where results have been announced include Moshi mjini (urban) where CCM’s Raymond Mboya has 31,169 while Chadema’s Priscus Tarimo won 22,555 votes.

Mbeya constituency results show CCM’s Tulia Akson leading with 75,225 votes while Chadema’s Joseph Mbilinyi has 37, 591.

In Jombe mjini, CCM’s Deodatus Mwanyika has 29,553 votes while Chadema’s Emmanuel Masonga has 5,940.

In Mtwara vijijini (rural) constituency Shamsia Mtamba of CUF party got 26,262 while CCM’s Hawa Ghasia has 18,505 votes.

CCM’s Ramadhan Sima won 23,220 votes while Chadema’s Rehema Nkoha won 15,467 in Singida mjini constituency.

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