October 20th 2017

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Hoping for truce on IEBC talks, CORD calls off protests

The CORD Coalition has called off its demonstration against the electoral commission that was set for tomorrow in order to give dialogue a chance.

By Free Press Reporternewsdesk@kenyafreepress.comMonday, 13 Jun 2016 08:20 EAT

The CORD Coalition has called off its demonstration against the electoral commission that was set for tomorrow in order to give dialogue a chance.

Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama told reporters in Nairobi that CORD had postponed Monday’s protest in anticipation that their Jubilee counterparts would meet CORD’s demand for talks outside Parliament.

CORD has rejected Jubilee Coalition’s position that a parliamentary select committee can handle the crisis over the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, which CORD wants reconstituted. The coalition prefers broad-based dialogue involving civil society and the religious sector.

Muthama and Siaya Senator James Orengo, who are the co-chairs of the CORD Management Board, said the coalition would mobilise its supporters for fresh anti-IEBC demos on Thursday if the stalemate shall not have been resolved by then.

CORD has held demonstrations every Monday for five weeks to press for changes in IEBC. The ruling Jubilee side initially rejected any reforms in the commission, but last week President Uhuru Kenyatta said Jubilee would consider reforms led by Parliament, where Jubilee has the majority. CORD rejected the offer, calling for broad based talks whose agreement should be made binding on Parliament.

In anticipation of Jubilee's increased opposition to the talks, CORD last week announced plans to hold two demos per week, on Mondays and Thursdays. Muthama and Orengo said the postponement of Monday's protests was informed by views of religious leaders and diplomats who had reached out to them on the IEBC issue.

Elsewhere, Wiper Democratic Movement leader Hon Kalonzo Musyoka condemned yesterday’s attack on CORD leader Raila Odinga’s supporters in Nakuru.

The former vice president asked the police to arrest Nakuru Governor Kinuthia Mbugua, Deputy Governor Joseph Ruto, and Bahati MP Onesmus Kimani Ngunjiri in connection with the violence on Raila. The three leaders led a group of charged youths who stormed a hotel where Raila was meeting CORD officials and supporters in Nakuru County moments before the CORD leader addressed a rally at Mkarafuu Grounds in Nakuru West.

Musyoka also said CORD would continue its protests until the IEBC is reconstituted.

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