7 June 2014

Kenya: Uhuru Rules Out Talks With Raila Over IEBC

Migori — President Uhuru Kenyatta has ruled out any dialogue meeting with the opposition to discuss the reconstitution of the electoral body.

Speaking in Rongo during the burial of area Member of Parliament Dalmas Otieno's daughter, the President welcomed dialogue with CORD leader Raila Odinga, but warned that such talks should only be about development and unemployment.

The Head of State said he is open to develop the country with ideas from other leaders, but he is not prepared to dwell into destructive politics.

"The election is over and done with, what are we going back to talk about? Let us wait for another election but if the dialogue is on matters affecting the lives of Kenyan, I am saying to my brother you are welcome any day, I have no problem," he said.

The demands for a National Dialogue Conference were made by CORD leaders during a rally at Uhuru Park last week as they welcomed the coalition's leader who had been in the US for three months.

Raila insists he will lead mass protests in July unless Uhuru agrees to engage them for the talks on various issues, including public appointments, devolution and IEBC reconstitution.

"My door is always open and any Kenyan who has ideas to drive the country forward, bring jobs for the jobless Kenyans, I am ready to talk to them," he added.

The opposition has given the government until July 7 within which they would be required to organise the national dialogue with key stakeholders in the country, while demanding the disbandment of the electoral commission.

Chances of the talks taking place seemed to diminish last week when Jubilee MPs met President Kenyatta at State House where it was resolved that CORD engages the government through parliament structures.

"The so-called national dialogue initiative in my opinion is about the President and his deputy having a cup of tea with some people, not about the IEBC. If you want to have the dialogue with Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto, the agenda will not be IEBC," Leader of Majority at the National Assembly Aden Duale declared after the meeting,

Duale said the coalition had resolved that the national dialogue would be done within the institutions created by the constitution.

"The new Constitution 2010 created independent institutions that have the role of dealing with national issues. So we will expect the national dialogue to be framed within those institutions," Duale said.

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has already forwarded a CORD-sponsored petition seeking to reconstitute IEBC to the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee for scrutiny.

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