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PNU now threatens coalition pullout

NAIROBI, Kenya Feb 2 – A section of leaders from the Party of National Unity have petitioned the chairman George Saitoti to call a National Delegates Conference to discuss the party\’s withdrawal from the Grand Coalition.

Deputy Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni said that they wanted the meeting called within 21 days to review the party\’s continued stay in the alliance.

The officials who included three vice-chairmen and two deputy secretary generals said that the wrangles have not helped in generating jobs and growing the economy.

Mr Kioni said: "It has come to a time for us to review whether it is for the benefit of this country to continue remaining in the Coalition."

"One of the reasons for our action is the inexhaustible desire and capacity of the leader of the coalition partner to perpetually keep this country running form one crisis to another.  It is not for the benefit of this nation," he added.

Mr Kioni said that the meeting should be held on March 4.

"The President should thereafter proceed to form a government of national unity as envisaged in the PNU Manifesto," he said.

He said that they would seek to invoke Section 6 of the National Accord and Reconciliation Act 2008 which allows for either of the partners to pull out of the arrangement.

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The clause reads: "The coalition will be dissolved if the current Parliament is dissolved; or if the parties agree in writing; or if one coalition partner withdraws from the coalition."

The Party of National Unity is one of the partners in Kenya\’s Grand coalition, with President Kibaki being the most senior member of the party.

Vice- Chairmen Jamleck Kamau, Jimmy Angwenyi and George Nyamweya cited the constant wrangles between the coalition partners as the main reason for seeking dissolution of the coalition which was formed as a result of a dispute of the 2007 presidential election tally.

Meanwhile, Mr Kamau questioned the legitimacy of the Speaker of the National Assembly to make a ruling on the constitutionality of President Kibaki\’s list of nominees to top judicial positions.

"Members of PNU are asking the Speaker of the National Assembly not to engage himself in decisions that do not pertain to him.  The work of the National Assembly is make laws… the work of the Judiciary is interpret law and Parliament cannot purport to do both," he said.

The nominations were the subject of heated debate in Parliament on Tuesday, and House Speaker Kenneth Marende is on Thursday expected to rule on the legality of the nominations.

The President nominated Justice Alnashir Visram for CJ, law professor Githu Muigai as Attorney General in place of Amos Wako and Kioko Kilukumi to the post of Director of Public Prosecutions.

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