Azimio suspends its participation in bipartisan talks
Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya coalition party has suspended its participation in the bipartisan talks with the government side of Kenya Kwanza.
In a statement, Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna said the move follows the involvement of Eldas MP Adan Keynan on the government side.
"The Azimio team has suspended its participation in the bipartisan talks until such time as Hon. Keynan who remains a member of Azimio shall not be included as part of the Kenya Kwanza delegation," Sifuna said.
Keynan was elected on a Jubilee Party ticket, which is still a member of the Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya coalition party.
On Thursday, April 20, 2023, in the inaugural meeting between the two teams, opposition members opposed the inclusion of Keynan in Kenya Kwanza's team while the Kenya Kwanza team opposed the inclusion of Pokot South MP David Pkosing in the Azimio team.
According to Kenya Kwanya, P'Kosing, who was elected on a KUP ticket, is a Kenya Kwanza member since his party leader John Lonyangapuo signed a post-election pact with Kenya Kwanza. Initially, KUP was a party member of the opposition outfit.
"They have also raised an issue about our inclusion of David P'Kosing as a member of our team on grounds that his KUP party leader John Lonyangapuo has entered into some arrangement with Kenya Kwanza," Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi said.
National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung'wah, who is part of the Kenya Kwanza team, said that the matter had been referred to coalition leaders of both sides for resolution as bipartisan talks continue.
"We appreciate that the composition of both teams was arrived at following engagement of party leadership of both coalitions. This is not an issue we can ably resolve that's why we have referred to our party leaders for resolutions and respective party organs," Ichung'wah said.
Azimio has already announced the resumption of anti-government protests on May 2, 2023.
Azimio leadership had threatened to pull out of the talks unless the membership and scope were widened.
Azimio wants the negotiations to revolve around recruitment of the national polls team, opening and audit of the IEBC servers, cost of living and reinstatement of election commissioners who were kicked out after the last General Election.