Raila Odinga urges Nasa MPs to guide debates on people's assembly

Thursday November 9 2017

Raila Odinga and Musalia Mudavadi.

Nasa leaders Raila Odinga and Musalia Mudavadi at the Okoa Kenya secretariat, Nairobi County, on October 31, 2017. Mr Odinga has directed all opposition MPs to attend sessions at the county assemblies where the motion on the establishment of a people’s assembly is expected to go on. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By SAMWEL OWINO
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All opposition MPs have been directed to put off all engagements in Nairobi and attend sessions at the county assemblies where the motion on the establishment of a people’s assembly is expected to go on today.

In a statement sent to newsrooms on Wednesday evening, Opposition leader Raila Odinga directed the MPs to attend and stand in solidarity with county assemblies as they debate.

REPEAT POLL

Mr Odinga, who is currently in the US, asked the Parliamentary wing of the National Resistance Movement of to be at the assemblies and provide guidance to Members of County Assemblies on the motion.

The people’s assembly is one of the ways the Opposition is using to seek for a repeat of the presidential election in February 2018.

The assembly, as announced by Mr Odinga last week on Tuesday, will comprise governors and deputy governors, members of the Senate, National Assembly and County Assembly, religious, trade union and civil society leaders; and representatives of youth and women’s organisations.

In the motion, Nasa is demanding a “truly independent” electoral commission that will conduct a fresh election before or on February 9, review of the 2010 Constitution by reframing the structure of the executive, Parliament and devolution and reinforce concrete measures for promotion of inclusivity as well as questioning the constitutionality and legitimacy of Uhuru Kenyatta’s presidency.

MOTION

The motion was unveiled by Nasa co-principals Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula on Tuesday at the Opposition’s office – Okoa Kenya in Lavington, Nairobi County.

“By and large, we are confident that our county assemblies are well-briefed on the motion following our session with the governors, and the MCAs will be equal to the task when the motion is tabled tomorrow. Still, it is a new territory and we ask our members of the National Assembly and the Senate who have had more time to ventilate on this matter to show up at the counties tomorrow (today) in solidarity and for guidance,” Mr Odinga said in the statement.

The Siaya County Assembly on Wednesday became the first county assembly to adopt the proposal to set up a people’s assembly as a way of forcing a repeat presidential election in February 2018.

The Bill, awaiting assent by Governor Cornel Rasanga, recommended the formation of a people’s assembly to discuss and determine the affairs of the country, the constitution of a special college to observe the people’s assembly, strengthening of independent bodies such as the police, IEBC, and the National Intelligence Service.

The Bill has been sent to all 19 counties allied to the Opposition.

BOYCOTT

The Opposition has also announced an economic boycott of products from Safaricom, Bidco industries and Brookside.

Nasa accused Safaricom of aiding rigging of August 8 poll in favour of President Kenyatta, a claim the firm has previously denied and dismissed.

The Raila Odinga-led coalition, on the other hand, accused Brookside and Bidco of funding President Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party and therefore part of a regime stifling democracy.