Uhuru announces plan to kick start dialogue on IEBC


Uhuru announces plan to kick start dialogue on IEBC

President Uhuru Kenyatta has agreed to name a team to dialogue with the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) over the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) issue.

In his address to the nation on Wednesday, President Kenyatta said that following consultations with speakers of the Senate and the National Assembly and religious leaders he had agreed to form a team that would seek to end the current impasse on IEBC.

“A joint select committee of both Houses of Parliament will be set up in accordance with Standing Orders of both Houses with keen mandate exclusively limited to the matter of IEBC,” he said.

“We expect that other initiatives by Parliament will harmonize their work within framework of the joint select committee.”

The president further noted that he had an obligation to defend the constitution calling on Kenyans to also work on protecting it.

He called on CORD to soften their stand on the issue and agree on seeking the resolutions on the matter.

The president’s move appears to be a concession to CORD’s demands for an out-of-parliament dialogue on the aptness of IEBC to hold a free and fair election in 2017.

Previously, there had been reports that President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto had agreed to CORD’s call for the formation of a 10-member team, five from each side, to spearhead the process of dialogue and seek a resolution on the matter during a meeting with CORD leaders Raila Odinga and Moses Wetangula at State House last Tuesday.

The president and his deputy however came out to refute the claims a day later, during their speech at the 53rd Madaraka Day celebrations at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru.

Uhuru and Ruto accused CORD leaders of insincerity claiming there was no such agreement reached during the meeting.

They called on CORD to table their petition against the IEBC in Parliament saying any other negotiation process would only lead to litigation.

Despite Jubilee’s claims, CORD went ahead to name its five-member team of Senators James Orengo (Siaya), Johnson Muthama (Machakos), Mombasa Woman Representative Mishi Kombo, MPs Junet Mohamed (Suna East) and Eseli Simiyu (Tongaren) to represent them in the talks.

The Opposition ended its one-week break from protests on Monday and returned to the streets in a bid to pile pressure on the commissioners to vacate office.

They have further said they would increase the frequency of the protests to twice a week to ensure their grievances are addressed.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery on Tuesday banned all protests saying they were a threat to national security, setting the stage for a possible clash with CORD supporters who have vowed to defy the orders and proceed with their demonstration on Monday and Thursday next week.

@benjaminwafula

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