21 March 2018

Kenya: Ford Kenya Seeks to Strip ODM of Parliamentary Positions

The rift in the National Super Alliance coalition widened Tuesday after Ford Kenya threatened to strip ODM of its parliamentary leadership positions.

The Ford Kenya threat appeared to have received a boost when Amani National Congress leader, Musalia Mudavadi, termed the deal between President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga a "personality cult".

He called for an all-inclusive dialogue, and vowed to remain firm in the opposition "as everyone else goes to government", he said in a statement.

Ford Kenya deputy leader, Mr Boni Khalwale, speaking on behalf of the party's national executive committee, said that the party had instructed its parliamentary team to seek a formal ruling from the Speakers of the two Houses on whether ODM should lose its seats "after crossing the floor".

"When a party in the opposition, now called the minority, moves to government, now called the majority, they lose the positions they got by... being members of the opposition. We have no doubt the Speakers will rule in our favour," Dr Khalwale said, adding such rulings had been made before.

However, such a drastic move might be a tall order for Ford Kenya, even if they are supported by ANC, and Mr Kalonzo Musyoka's Wiper party.

ODM has a total of 76 MPs - elected and nominated - in the National Assembly compared to Wiper party's 23, ANC 14 and Ford-Kenya's 13.

In the Senate, ODM is still the big brother with 20 senators, compared to three each for Wiper and ANC, with Mr Moses Wetang'ula as the sole Ford-Kenya senator.

"The leadership of Parliament is going to change drastically. When you move to the other side, you need to forfeit positions," he said.


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