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Where Women Are

 | 
Nanjala Nyabola
, 
Marie-Emmanuelle Pommerolle

The Missing Piece: The Legislature, Gender Parity and Constitutional Legitimacy in Kenya

Marilyn Muthoni Kamaru

Résumé

Despite Kenya’s democratic credentials and a robust progressive legal framework as reflected in the Constitution of Kenya 2010; since 2013 the actions of the national executive and legislature demonstrate a retreat from principles of democracy, constitutionalism and the rule of law. These actions have culminated in an unconstitutional Parliament, an unconstitutional national Cabinet and an unconstitutional Supreme Court. In all three instances the national institutions are unconstitutional because they violate the provisions of the Constitution on gender representation. Legitimacy as a purely political concept ignores the illegality of state institutions. However, these illegalities reflect a latent constitutional crisis which impugns the legitimacy of the Kenya government and reflects a rejection of the Constitution of Kenya 2010, especially its guarantees of women’s citizenship and equality. This failure of state institutions and constitutional offices to act in compliance and/or defence of the Constitution is unprecedented since the promulgation of the Constitution in 2010. The deliberate departure from constitutionalism, democracy and the rule of law marks a period of instability as the government asserts a new order, whose reference and legitimacy it seems lie beyond the Constitution of Kenya 2010.

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Extrait du texte

Introduction

After the contentious 2017 elections, the focus on the legitimacy of the national government has tended to focus on the mechanics of the electoral process and political legitimacy. However, this chapter argues that the 2017 elections were illegally conducted in violation of the Constitution, and the rights of the majority of Kenya’s female citizens, resulting in an unconstitutional Parliament. This chapter details the actions of key government actors prior to the 2017 general election and the way those actions compromised the legality of the general election before the first vote was cast by violating the Constitution - effectively reading women’s rights out of the electoral process - and how post-election, these violations have resulted in an unconstitutional national government.

If we accept that legitimacy in a constitutional democracy is both a legal and political concept – legal first and political second – then in determining the legitimacy of the Kenyan government ...

Auteur

Is a lawyer and a writer.

© Africae, 2018

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