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You have two days to get serious on talks, Raila tells Ruto team

Azimio leader Raila Odinga addresses the press in Nairobi on May 08,2023 where he opposed the proposed taxation scheme by the government that he said will overburden Kenyans. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

Opposition Leader Raila Odinga has given the Kenya Kwanza Alliance a two-day ultimatum to get serious with the bipartisan talks, failure to which Azimio La Umoja will 'explore other options'.

Raila revealed that Kenya Kwanza Alliance had approached them last week to stop the demonstration intended for Thursday last week in a gentlemanly agreement that saw the ruling party drop Eldas MP Adan Keynan as a member of the bipartisan talks team.

Keynan was replaced by Saku MP Dido Rasso. Addressing Journalists at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Foundation yesterday, Raila warned that should the team tasked to carry out the bipartisan talks not get serious by tomorrow, he will have no option but to ask his supporters to go back to the streets to push the government to accede to their demands.

"Kenya Kwanza Alliance approached us last week to halt our demonstrations claiming that they were committed to the bipartisan talks. However, we are seeing signs of dillydallying and the creation of new goalposts. Let them be aware that we are giving them two days to get serious," said Raila.

The joint bipartisan committee co-chaired by Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo and his Tharaka counterpart George Murugara is expected to meet to thrash out contentious issues and set the roadmap for the crucial discussions aimed at addressing issues raised by Azimio.

The bipartisan team is expected to meet today. Top on the agenda is a discussion on whether the negotiations should be purely parliamentary or expanded to include actors, a position supported by Azimio. Kenya Kwanza wants the process to be parliamentary.

Electoral reforms

The team is also expected to discuss the terms of reference for the committee and the matters to be given priority with Kenya Kwanza maintaining that they should only focus on the reconstitution of IEBC and electoral reforms in the country.

Azimio La Umoja has been pushing to have discussions on the high cost of living, equal opportunities in government employment and the opening of IEBC servers so as to reveal who actually the August 9 poll.

In a statement by the coalition's co-principal Kalonzo Musyoka on Wednesday last week, the coalition said they will only call off the protests if Kenya Kwanza recuses Keynan from the bipartisan talks.

Senate Majority Leader Aaron Cheruiyot said last Wednesday that they welcomed the statement by Azimio on the resumption of talks, noting that they appreciated the conciliatory tone taken by their rivals.

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