By Anthony Mwangi and Mercy Mwai
Even as debate on reduction of elective seats rages on, Parliament yesterday introduced a bill seeking to raise the number of MPs to 560 from the current 416.
The Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill 2019, which went through the first reading yesterday, is, however, likely to meet stiff resistance from the proponents of wage reduction.
Uasin Gishu County Woman Representative Gladys Shollei, who has sponsored the law, wants to amend a number of Articles in the Constitution to solve the contentious two- thirds gender principal.
The Bill is also seeking to increase the number of persons nominated to the National Assembly from 12 to 22 but limit the nominative seats to people with disabilities.
Previous attempts by the National Assembly to address the two-thirds gender principle has been elusive with members failing on three occasions to meet the threshold.
The bill in its form seeks to scrap the 47 Woman MP slots in the National Assembly, the 18 nominated Women MPs in the Senate as well as the more than 800 nominated Members of the County Assemblies.
It further seeks to amend Article 97 of the Constitution to add 136 new women MPs in the National Assembly, who will be elected in the constituencies.
The 136 women will each be elected by registered voters of two adjacent constituencies constituting a single-member constituency.
To achieve this, the three constituencies with the least number of registered voters will constitute a single member in counties with an odd number of constituency like Nairobi which has 17 constituencies.
“Two adjacent constituencies with the least number of votes in each county to be used as the electoral unit for the purposes of the election of MPs on the basis of geographical proximity,” the bill says.
Shollei, who chairs the Delegated Legislation Committee in the National Assembly has also proposed that the Constitution be amended to address the gender disparity in the Senate.
The Bill seeks to have 100 Senators in the Senate elected in the counties with each devolved unit constituting a constituency for the election of one man and one woman.
The Shollei Bill proposes to amend the Constitution to provide the election of a woman member of county assembly for at least two wards within each county for the purpose of gender parity.
A further 725 women will be elected by voters by at least adjacent wards in each county to constitute a single member ward. The proposals in the Bill will however require a referendum to pass through as it touches on Devolution, a protected clause in the Constitution that can only be altered through a popular vote.
Further, the proposed Bill must be passed by a vote supported by not less than two- thirds of all the 349 MPs in the National Assembly and the 67 in Senate before it heads to the plebiscite.
It further seeks to amend Article 97 of the Constitution to add 136 new women MPs in the National Assembly
GLADYS SHOLLEI BILL
ON TWO-THIRDS GENDER PRINCIPAL
Members of parliament
from the current 416
from the current 12 but limit the nominative seats to people with disabilities but
136 New women MPs
in the National Assembly, who will be elected in the constituencies
Women member ward
elected in each county to constitute a single-member wand
Scrap the 47 Woman MPs slots in the National Assembly the 18 nominated Women MPs in the Senate as well as the more than 800 nominated Members of the County Assemblies.
Have 100 Senators in the House elected in the counties, each constituting a constituency for the election of one man and one woman.