NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 11 – The Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) insists that negotiations to resolve the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) impasse have not collapsed.
Siaya Senator James Orengo who is leading seven members nominated by CORD to represent it on a joint select committee on a change of guard at the IEBC said talks with the international community and religious leaders – intermediaries between itself and the ruling Jubilee coalition — had led to agreements on most of the issues concerning the establishment and operation of the joint committee.
“These engagements have not collapsed. From our standpoint we believe that 70 percent of sticking points have been agreed upon,” Orengo told press at a briefing on Friday.
The six other CORD nominees include Junet Mohammed (Suna East), co-principals Moses Wetangula and Kalonzo Musyoka, Eseli Simiyu (Tongaren), Francis Nyenze (Kitui West) and Peter Mutuku Mathuki (East African Legislative Assembly).
Among the aforementioned issues that have been agreed upon include the size of the committee which requires Jubilee and CORD to each nominate seven representatives.
The two coalitions were also in agreement that negotiations on IEBC should be complete within a month.
The outstanding issues on the other hand include a lack of consensus on whether the committee will be subject to the standing orders of Parliament.
CORD is opposed to the proposal which would require the select committee’s secretariat to be guided by the legislature.
“We believe the questions affecting IEBC are leadership and integrity challenges and management issues that must be addressed at a political level before the legislative processes are assumed by Parliament at the appropriate stage,” Orengo explained.
Jubilee on the other hand wants the committee to operate under the Standing Orders of Parliament.
Whereas CORD insists that it is committed to the dialogue process despite refusing to call of its Monday protests, its leaders say they doubt Jubilee possesses the political will to reform IEBC.
“We recognise the steps made by Jubilee so far, but they are not enough for purposes of ensuring that success in reforming the IEBC is guaranteed,” Orengo told reporters.
Of which Musyoka gave as justification, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s denial that the two sides had agreed to talks outside of Parliament during the state luncheon held in honour of South Korea’s President Park Geun-Hye on May 31.
“What was the response from Jubilee?” he posed. “That this was an imagination from CORD, nothing is really agreed until it is agreed. We stress here lack of political good faith on the part of Jubilee,” he said.
On account of which Wetangula said the CORD protests would continue on Monday followed by another one on Thursday until sufficient political will was demonstrated by Jubilee.