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Don’t limit IEBC dialogue to political parties, says civil society

Don't limit IEBC dialogue to political parties, says civil society/FILE

Don’t limit IEBC dialogue to political parties, says civil society/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 10 – Several civil society organisations now says the proposed dialogue on the IEBC stalemate between CORD and Jubilee will not yield the desired results if it is limited to the two political rivals.

The organisations under the Kura Yangu, Sauti Yangu banner says the talks should be called on an all-inclusive approach away from the parliamentary process and spearheaded by two locals and one international player.

Through a statement read by CRECO Executive Director Regina Opondo, the groups have also called on the discussions agenda be expanded in a bid to accommodate other pertinent issues.

“By having a parliamentary select committee that consists of members from only CORD and Jubilee Coalition, the process locks out other key non-parliamentary stakeholders such as the civil society organisations, the church, media, the governors, trade unions and other political parties who are neither in CORD or Jubilee,” she stated.

“Kura Yangu, Sauti Yangu therefore recommends that a hybrid model consisting of all the aforementioned stakeholders.”

Among the issues they want included in their three months proposed dialogue is the credibility of the electoral governance process, security in the electoral governance and dispute resolutions measures.

“The IEBC issue should be prioritised and concluded in the first month of the dialogue and the remaining issues concluded in the remaining two months,” Kenya Human Rights Commission Executive Director George Kegoro stated.

CORD leader Raila Odinga on Thursday said no agreement had been reached between Jubilee and the Opposition regarding proposed dialogue on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission deadlock.

The former Prime Minister explained that a team of four legislators had been formed to iron out outstanding issues “in the next 24 hours” before dialogue could kick off.

“There are a few outstanding issues on how this committee (the Joint Select Committee of both Houses of Parliament) is going to work going forward. They need to be discussed, negotiated and agreed upon,” he told journalists during at a press briefing at his Capitol Hill office.

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“We will be able to announce tomorrow that the white smoke has appeared and the negotiations can start.”

The team, with two members from each side of the coalition has 24 hours to discuss the terms of reference, how the committee will work and the issues that will be discussed among other matters.

CORD was to be represented by Senator James Orengo and MP Eseli Simiyu, while the Jubilee coalition talks would be led by Senator Kiraitu Murungi.

On the anti-IEBC protests, Odinga said they were still on until an agreement was reached.

“As things stand now, they remain the same and there is no agreement that is reached until an agreement is reached,” the Opposition leader asserted.

In an address to Kenyans from State House on Wednesday, 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.

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President Uhuru Kenyatta has since said stern action will be taken against anyone who destroys public or private property while claiming to be holding peaceful demonstrations.


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