The government has been placed on indefinite suspension after failing to accede to the demands made by the opposition on Tuesday. The bipartisan team facilitating talks between Azimio la Umoja and Kenya Kwanza has been in place since that time.
According to the co-chair of the Azimio Otiende Amollo (Rarieda), Kenya Kwanza co-chair George Murugara failed to sign two letters regarding the preservation of the presidential election servers that were addressed to the selection panel and the chief executive officer of the electoral commission.
“In the circumstances, it is our considered opinion that appropriate action is to adjourn the talks sine die (the Latin word for indefinitely) in accordance with Clause 36 of the framework agreement,” reads the letter by Dr Amollo.
Clause 37 of the framework agreement governing the bipartisan team states that if there is a disagreement, the committee will adjourn for seven days while working to reach an agreement.
“If the parties cannot agree within seven days of the suspension of the talks, either party may give notice of the dissolution of the talks,” reads clause 38 of the framework agreement.
The Azimio team revealed the two letters to Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission CEO Marjan Hussein and the selection panel’s chair Nelson Makanda on Wednesday.
The team requested that the selection panel halt the hiring process until the talks were finished in a letter to the panel that was only signed by Dr. Amollo.
“There are concerns that the ongoing recruitment of the chairperson and the commissioners of IEBC might prejudice the joint talks. Consequently, the committee has resolved that there is a need to suspend the recruitment process during the pendency of the talks,” reads the letter.
In a second letter addressed to Mr. Marjan and again only bearing Dr. Amollo’s signature, the team asks IEBC to keep the servers for the 2022 presidential election in order to facilitate inspection.
“Preserving the 2022 election presidential servers and the data contained herein is a prerequisite for the effective discharge of the committee’s mandate. Moreover, the 2022 presidential election servers and the data contained therein are election material, and in accordance with the Elections (General) Regulations 2012, we are required to inspect the documents,” reads the letter.
However, Mr. Murugara reported that he has not yet received the letter announcing the talks’ indefinite suspension.
Mr. Murugara claimed that because his draft of the two letters had been altered, he was unable to sign them.
“My draft was altered, so I can’t sign them. Mr. Murugara reported that “It appears as though we are giving orders.
Azimio had asked for temporary measures to lower living expenses, including a temporary decrease in the price of necessities, the preservation of the IEBC’s presidential election servers, the cessation of coalition parties’ incursions, specifically the Jubilee Party, and the suspension of the IEBC selection procedure.
When the Parliamentary Group met on Tuesday, Azimio threatened to end the negotiations if Kenya Kwanza didn’t resolve the problems. The coalition also demanded that the contentious Finance Bill, 2023, which they describe as anti-people, be immediately retracted in addition to the temporary measures.
Mr. Odinga served as the meeting’s host, and Azimio disclosed that Kenya Kwanza had proposed that the joint co-chairs write to the selection panel to ask them to halt the process for roughly 21 to 30 days and keep the presidential server.
The Azimio teams called off the negotiations on Tuesday due to irreconcilable disagreements on crucial interim issues.
As co-chairs, Mr. Murugara and Dr. Amollo could write to the selection panel to ask them to consider postponing the hiring of the IEBC commissioners for 30 days while negotiations continue, despite the fact that the bipartisan committee lacks the authority to do so, according to the letter to Dr. Amollo last week.
Regarding the preservation of servers, Mr. Murugara asserts that the committee did not approve of such temporary measures because IEBC is not currently properly constituted.
“Our argument was that such a directive would be an exercise in futility as there are no IEBC commissioners to receive such a directive,” Mr Murugara said.