Kenya Opposition Leader Odinga Presents New Demand for Poll Reform Talks

Wed Apr 05 2023
icon-facebook icon-twitter icon-whatsapp

NAIROBI: Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga on Tuesday presented a new demand for poll reforms and called for parties that are not in the parliament to be involved in negotiations. Kenya’s President William Ruto plans to hold dialogue only within the parliament.

The talks will focus on the high cost of living.

Odinga warned of new demonstrations if the regime did not consider the opposition’s demands seriously.

Earlier on Sunday, Odinga agreed to the negotiations proposed by Ruto following the president’s plea to end the protests, which also include allegations of fraud in the presidential elections that were held in August 2022. Thousands took part in 3 opposition marches over the past 2 weeks, all of which witnessed scenes of violence.

Global watchers, including those at the US Embassy in the East African country, welcomed the talks to prevent further disruption in the region’s largest economy.

Odinga seeks talks similar to negotiations held in 2008

Odinga wants negotiations like those that halted post-poll unrest in 2008 and led to a government of national unity.

Odinga said that in order to end this, the opposition coalition proposes a team of politicians from both in Parliament and outside it (parliament).

On Monday, President Ruto had urged senior MPs from his coalition to prioritize the opposition’s concerns.

During a visit to Rwanda’s capital Kigali on Tuesday, Ruto once again called for the dialogue to be held within parliament that would be bipartisan and stressed that is the offer made to the opposition.

Ruto was speaking at a news conference alongside Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

Meanwhile, at his news conference, Odinga stated that demos could restart if there was no progress toward the opposition’s demands, which also included an audit of the elections.

icon-facebook icon-twitter icon-whatsapp