, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 13 – Rift Valley Members of Parliament from the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) have now threatened to withdraw their support for the party in Parliament after Thursday’s proposal to discipline them.
The MPs who went against the party position during the referendum campaign and led the No camp said the party risks losing their crucial support on important Bills should it take any punitive action on them.
MPs Charles Keter (Belgut) and Moses Lessonet (Eldama Ravine) dismissed an announcement by ODM’s Parliamentary Group that they will not be included in the yet-to-be formed Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee saying the bigger battle is no longer in Parliamentary committees but on the floor of the House.
“All the Bills will come to the floor of the House where we will all participate,” said Mr Keter adding; “Let them know that none of us has applied to be included in the committee.”
“If there is anyone to lose here it is the Prime Minister because he can no longer boast of having the highest numbers in Parliament,” added Mr Lessonet.
“If they are men enough let them come to the floor of the House and remove us from the list (as ODM MPs),” added the Eldama Ravine lawmaker.
A Parliamentary Group meeting on Thursday endorsed unspecified disciplinary measures against ‘rebel MPs’ for going out against the party\’s decision to support the document that was ratified by a majority of Kenyans last week.
The move came barely a day after Prime Minister Raila Odinga called for an end to supremacy wars between parties in the ruling coalition, so that the journey to implement the new law can begin.
Cabinet Minister William Ruto who is also the deputy Party Leader faces suspension should the meeting’s resolution be implemented. Mr Ruto led the No camp and together with church leaders managed 2.7 million No votes in the just concluded referendum.
The party also vowed to bar any of the MPs who were in the No camp from the oversight committee.
“Constitution making is a process that involves citizens, it should never be a matter for party or government positions,” said Chepalungu MP Isaac Ruto.
“The meeting should have discussed other pressing matters such as the deteriorating popularity of the party which is now evident,” said Cherangany MP Joshua Kutuny.
At a press conference at Parliament buildings on Friday, the four MPs dared the party to go ahead with the planed disciplinary action.