Azimio la Umoja led by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has declined to participate in the bipartisan talks proposed by President William Ruto.
Azimio leaders withdraw from bipartisan talks at the last minute
Azimio la Umoja leaders have issued fresh demands to President William Ruto after ditching his invite for bipartisan talks through Parliament
In a statement read by former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka on Tuesday, April 18, Azimio said that the opposition would not be involved in the bipartisan talks if they are confined to a parliamentary process.
Azimio accused the Kenya Kwanza government of sabotaging the engagements and having ulterior motives.
“Any reasonable observer of the happenings in the last few weeks will agree with us that Kenya Kwanza has no intention whatsoever, of holding any dialogue at all, let alone one that is honest, transparent and bi-partisan. They have exhibited absolute bad faith from the beginning,” Kalonzo said.
He said that when President Ruto invited the Azimio coalition for talks, he did not include the entire framework they had requested through emissaries who negotiated the cease-fire between the government and the opposition.
He said Ruto left out issues such as the cost of living and the pursuit of electoral justice.
He also said the head of state delayed in naming the team of seven members who would form part of the bipartisan committee, adding that Kenya Kwanza included MPs from Azmio when naming its members.
Musyoka decried that Kenya Kwanza had failed to name the leadership of its team, as a way of stonewalling.
“Last evening, we learned of a motion drafted by Kenya Kwanza leadership. The motion is in absolute bad faith for the following reasons. We have insisted on an extra Parliamentary process in view of the structures of debate in Parliament. We will therefore not participate in any such Parliamentary process,” he said.
Azimio leaders said that the motion was drafted as a predetermined result of the said bipartisan talks, to nominate opposition members to a select committee without any reference to minority leaders in the house.
“The motion purports to set the terms of reference and scope of discussion without any reference to us. We continue to insist that the dialogue must be about all four issues; the cost of unga, fuel and electricity, forensic audit of the servers, the bipartisan constitution of the IEBC, and respect for multiparty democracy,” the statement read.
Azimio maintained that dialogue must be held outside the framework of Parliament and instructed Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo to extend an invitation to Kenya Kwanza for a meeting to set the ground rules for extra-parliamentary talks.
The opposition also demanded the reinstatment of four IEBC commissioners who were disowned former chair Wafula Chebukati's announcement of the presidential election results and that the government foots medical bills for Kenyans injured during the anti government demos.
Azimio said the government should also compensate those who lost property during the protests.
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