, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 8 – CORD leader Raila Odinga has welcomed the formation of a Joint Select Committee of both Houses of Parliament to resolve the IEBC stalemate.
Odinga, who spoke shortly after President Kenyatta announced formation of the committee in an address at State House, said he expects this will help resolve the impasse.
“That is basically what we have been calling for. We have said that we wanted a Joint Select Committee in order to negotiate. As you know, we already have set up our side of the team consisting of two Senators and three members of the National Assembly. I would say that this is a welcome development,” Odinga said in an interview with KTN after President Kenyatta’s statement.
He said CORD, which has been holding weekly protests to push for dialogue on the IEBC would hold a meeting on Thursday following the new development.
“We have always maintained that demonstrations are not an end but a means to an end. And that is the reason we have said we will respond once we know exactly if the negotiations will start… we will of course review the position with regard to demonstrations,” he said.
In an address to Kenyans from State House, President Kenyatta said he had held consultations with religious leaders drawn from most faiths in the country earlier on Wednesday.
“The mandate of the committee will be strictly and exclusively the matter of IEBC,” President Kenyatta said at a briefing after the meeting that was attended by Speakers Justin Muturi of the National Assembly and Ekwee Ethuro of the Senate.
He said all stakeholders, public and private should be accorded an opportunity to make submissions to the joint select committee “as provided in the Standing Orders of both Houses of Parliament, and in the constitutional spirit of public participation.”
He emphasised the need to forge ahead within the confines of the Constitution.
“Any attempts to exercise it outside the provisions of the constitution not only undermines both the spirit and letter of the constitution, but is also a recipe for confusion and anarchy,” President Kenyatta affirmed.
President Kenyatta made it clear that everyone to respect, uphold and defend the Constitution “as an obligation and not an option.”