Raila proposes Koffi Annan-like talks to address opposition’s demands to Ruto
Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition leader Raila Odinga now says a parliamentary process proposed by President William Ruto may not address the opposition's demands that led to mass demonstrations in the country.
The Head of State on Sunday extended an olive branch to the opposition supremo and proposed a bipartisan parliamentary engagement to address concerns raised on the reconstitution of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
However, in a statement on Tuesday, Raila said a parliamentary process may not be effective in addressing the opposition's grievances that also touch on the cost of living and the legitimacy of the current administration.
The former prime minister stated that the Azimio leadership wants to have a conversation at the national level through a process akin to the 2008 National Accord, which was brokered by Koffi Annan following the disputed 2007 presidential election results.
"It is the resolution of this meeting that a purely parliamentary process may not serve the intended ends. Our suggestion is to have a conversation at the national level through a process akin to the 2008 National Accord," Raila said after a meeting with Azimio principals.
"To this end the coalition proposes a team drawn from its ranks both in Parliament and outside Bunge."
At the same time, Raila called on the president to treat the coalition's demands on lowering the cost of living in the country as a matter of urgency.
"We emphasize that all the issues we have laid out in Public carry equal weight to us although high cost of living must be addressed urgently," Raila said.
He asked the government to take immediate steps to reduce the cost of unga to Ksh100 from the current Ksh200 and also look into the cost of fuel.
"We resolved that the regime must take immediate steps to bring back the cost of unga to Kshs. 100 as at the time of the election. We further resolved that Kenya Kwanza must take immediate steps to lower the cost of fuel and put a freeze on the recent increase in cost of electricity. These are not matters for a committee," he added.
The Azimio leader said the government should foot hospital bills for the people injured during Azimio's demos.
"Further, we have resolved that the state must immediately take up the cost or waive all medical bills of the victims of police brutality including journalists, and the last expense costs of those who lost their lives," he said.
He warned that Azimio would resume protests that were suspended on Sunday if the proposed talks with the Kenya Kwanza administration were not successful.
"Finally, we assure our people and Kenyans that our eyes are firmly on the ball, and reiterate that we shall go back to the people as the earliest sign of lack of seriousness by the other side," he added.