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ODM now exits embattled House committee

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 5 – The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Party on Wednesday withdrew all its five members to the Parliamentary Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs over the ongoing leadership row.

Party Secretary General Anyang Nyong’o has written to the Speaker of the National Assembly communicating the withdrawal and calling for a meeting to resolve the wrangles.

“The party calls upon our partner in the Coalition Government to join us to put in motion a viable dispute resolution mechanism that will solve this and many other political issues impacting on the work of the National Assembly,” he said.

Prof Nyong’o said the members felt that they would not be able to resolve their differences with coalition partners PNU alliance and accused the party of frustrating the implementation of the Constitution. 

"The leadership and composition of the Justice and Legal Affairs committee and that of the Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee were negotiated between the coalition partners in the context and spirit of the National Accord," The ODM Secretary General said.

Prof Nyong’o said ODM had written to National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende and Clerk Patrick Gichohi informing them of the withdrawal.

“We are ready to sit down with our coalition partner to discuss the issues. We should not bring to Parliament issues that can be resolved politically outside,” he said.

The ODM statement came just moments before a scheduled meeting of the besieged committee which deals with constitutional affairs, the administration of law and justice, public prosecutions, elections, ethics, integrity and anti-corruption and human rights.

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The Committee was scheduled to meet over the wrangles and then report to the Parliamentary Liason Committee.

Prof Nyong’o also alleged that a \’coalition of impunity\’ was employing delaying tactics in drafting legislation for the implementation of the Constitution and attempting to hold Parliament hostage to extraneous issues so as to waste precious debating time.

He said; "the justice committee was targeted by ‘coalition of impunity’ with an eye on improperly influencing anticipated appointments to crucial constitutional offices, especially commissioners to the new electoral and boundaries commission, the Chief Justice, Attorney General and Inspector-General of Police, all of who will be vetted by the Justice Committee.”

“ODM is convinced that forces that opposed the Constitution either in the ‘No’ camp or as ‘water melons’ have formed a coalition of impunity to derail implementation of Constitution and the protect status quo," added the ODM Secretary General.

The party has six seats on the Committee which are occupied by: Ababu Namwamba, Millie Odhiambo, Isaac Ruto, Sofia Abdi and Olago Aluoch but it donated one seat to the PNU Coalition that was filled by Amina Abdalla in order for the committee to meet the one-third gender balance provision.

PNU have five positions composed of MPs Njoroge Baiya, Abdikadir Mohammed, Eugene Wamalwa, Mutava Musyimi and George Nyamweya.

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