Political parties vow to adhere to principles of equality and inclusion
Political parties have vowed to adhere to principles of equality and inclusion of special interest groups (SIGs) in readiness for the general elections.
In a joint press statement read by the political party leader Mr. Gerry Owiti at the Kenya School of Government, said that SIGs were not exercising their political rights as provided for in the Constitution of Kenya, “Special Interest Groups (SIGs) in Kenya have not often enjoyed and exercised their political rights equitably even though they constitute a significant proportion of the population.”
Mr. Owiti noted that there were efforts to put in place a mechanism for the implementation of the principle of not more than two-thirds and not much had been done on the enactment of the legislation to promote representation of SIGs in Parliament as provided for in the Constitution of Kenya.
He commended the Commission for its efforts towards promotion of the rights of SIGs, “We commend the National Gender and Equality Commission for having undertaken various measures aimed at promoting the political rights of Special Interest Groups including auditing lists of political parties’ nominees submitted to contest in General and By-elections, participating as a friend of the court to secure SIGs equitable representations in Parliament and County Assemblies, among others.”
Owiti gave a raft of measures the political parties would commit to throughout the electoral process to ensure the inclusion and participation of SIGs: Completion of nominations in time to allow for dispute resolution on matters that may arise, the material and venues to be used for nominations are suitable to persons with disabilities, persons with limited mobility and of low literacy levels, women, youth and persons with disabilities to present their candidature for consideration for nomination in every county, support SIGs to register and participate to vie for various elective positions and ensure campaigns are safe and democratic in liaison with law enforcement agencies to provide security to women and persons with disabilities who suffer most in the emergence of electoral violence.
They called upon the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to deal with election malpractices inorder to serve as a lesson to the concerned and enable supporters avoid violence.