Raila urges parties to embrace EAC

September 15, 2011 12:45 pm

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 15 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga has challenged leaders of political parties to ensure that their party manifestos capture the integration dream and reflect the East African Community agenda.

He said that it is only those political parties with an international outlook that will be able to effectively support the East African community integration process and help it move forward.

‘’I challenge them to ensure that the integration process remains consistently high on their party agenda. We as politicians must take the lead by committing to working together,” he said.

The PM spoke on Thursday when he officially opened a two-day regional meeting of political parties in East Africa at a Nairobi hotel.

He noted that as the EAC integration deepens, the need to involve all stake holders is vital.

Odinga emphasised that political parties play a critical role in the management of state affairs and should be engaged systematically to enable democracies to be fully representative.

The Premier told the participants that it was their responsibility as party leaders to ensure that party policies regarding the community are not only developed but also implemented.

He urged EAC member countries to strongly embrace the integration to enable citizens to reap the fruits of the union.

‘’We need those opportunities for our people, and we must work seriously towards party collaboration across boundaries to realise our objectives,’’ he stressed.

At the same, he appealed for the restructuring of the legislative arm of the community to make it more representative.

He observed that its current election process requires review so that direct election of members is enshrined within the EAC Treaty framework.

While applauding the great strides so far achieved in the integration process, the PM suggested that there was need for harmonisation of election cycles of partner states to enable workable integration of political parties.


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