Raila insists task force of MPs, non-parliamentarians to hold bipartisan talks

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition party leader Raila Odinga has reiterated the need for a joint task force of members of parliament and parties outside parliament to hold talks to address the Opposition demands.

Speaking during the Azimio parliamentary group meeting at Stoni Athi Resort in Athi Riveron Thursday, Raila acknowledged President William Ruto’s calls for dialogue to find solutions to issues raised by the opposition stating that lowering the price of food is urgent, can’t wait and does not even need talks” and that the opening of servers is non-negotiable.

“We go into these negotiations holding firm belief that our cause is just, our intentions are pure and our goal is patriotic…we agree that a balanced process spearheaded by members of parliament on both sides and backed by experts is an appropriate way to proceed,” he said.

The task force’s terms of reference are as listed below:

a) Recommend measures to lower the cost of unga, fuel electricity and school fees.

b) Conduct a review and forensic audit of the servers used by the IEBC before, during and after the 2022 presidential elections.

c) Review the appointment and dismissal of IEBC Commissioners, including their tenure of office and recommend institutional policy, legal and constitutional mechanisms, restructuring and reforms of the IEBC.

d) Consider restructuring of IEBC by devolving structures to the counties and whether the country really needs commissioners working on permanent basis.

e) Recommend legal, policy and institutional reforms to strengthen and improve the electoral system and processes to entrench a culture of free and fair elections administered in an impartial, transparent, simple accurate, verifiable and secure system.

f) Review the circumstances that led to the dismissal of the IEBC Commissioners, commonly known as Cherera Four and reinstate them in office.

g) Review and recommend changes in the law that will entrench party discipline/fidelity by: (i) Requiring MPs who cross party lines after elections to seek a fresh mandate from the electorate; and (ii) To allow parties to replace nominated MPs who cross party lines.

h) Initiate legislation to address the electoral, governance and economic gaps identified during the inquiry for consideration by the House as appropriate.

The joint task force, Odinga says, will then table its report to parliament within 30 days of its establishment further reiterating the return to protests should the process not bear fruit.

“Should there be no meaningful engagement or response from Kenya Kwanza, we will not hesitate to mobilise Kenyans to demand their rights within the framework of Article 37 of the Constitution,” he said.




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