The Kenya Forum | Ruto Extends Olive Branch to Odinga - The Kenya Forum

April 3, 2023

Summary

“I have listened to the issues raised by my friend honorable Raila Odinga. In times like these, it is not about who is right or wrong,” President William Ruto said.

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Ruto Extends Olive Branch to Odinga

Ruto Extends Olive Branch to Odinga

Ruto,Odinga agree to dialogue . Photos courtesy of African Business

Odinga Calls off Protests

President Wiliam Ruto has agreed to dialogue with Azimio leader Raila Odinga.

The president, who spoke during an address to the nation on Sunday, urged Odinga to bring an end to the weekly protests saying they are hurting an already struggling economy.

“I have listened to the issues raised by my friend honorable Raila Odinga. In times like these, it is not about who is right or wrong,” President William Ruto said.

The Head of State said he had listened to the opposition’s demands, among which has been a halt to the ongoing recruitment of commissioners to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and proposed a bipartisan engagement by Parliament.

On the reconstitution of the future electoral commission, the selection panel that is currently in office is a creation of the law that was passed by the two chambers of  Parliament… However, considering the matters raised by our friends in the opposition, I suggest a bipartisan engagement by Parliament within the parameters of the law and the constitution,” Ruto added.

The opposition has been accusing President Ruto of reconstituting the electoral commission “without consulting other stakeholders and interested parties.”

Mr Odinga, who spoke in a separate press conference following Ruto’s address, agreed to call off the ongoing protests to pave way for dialogue. He however maintained that the bipartisan committee proposed by the president should be established immediately and warned to return to mass action within a week should the talks fail.

Odinga also asked that all arrests and prosecutions related to the demonstrations be stopped with immediate effect.

We agree that a balanced parliamentary process co-chaired by both sides and backed by experts from outside should proceed. In our view, this committee should be composed with immediate effect with strict deadlines for resolving the crisis facing the country,” said Mr Odinga.

Cost of Living – Subsidies

According to Odinga, the dialogue with president Ruto will be done in a “bi-partisan manner” and will also include discussions around reducing the high cost of living.

We will raise this issue of the cost of living so that we can be able to alleviate the suffering of our people. We have said that at a time like this we should go back to subsidies so that the cost of living can come down,” he said.

 

 

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