Azimio la Umoja suspends bi-partisan talks

Azimio bipartisan talks co-chairperson Otiende Amollo.[Collins Oduor,Standard]

The Azimio la Umoja coalition has withdrawn from bipartisan talks citing non-compliance from Kenya Kwanza.

In a letter, Azimio bipartisan talks co-chairperson Otiende Amollo said the Kenya Kwanza team had failed to co-sign and submit letters that had been addressed to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

Azimio la Umoja sought to compel IEBC CEO Marjan Hussein Marjan to provide information regarding the preservation of electoral materials, the 2022 presidential election servers, and the data contained within.

They also wanted IEBC Chairperson Dr. Nelson Makanda to suspend the recruitment of the Chairperson and Commissioners of IEBC exercise.

"In the circumstances, it is our considered opinion that the appropriate action is to adjourn the talks sine die, in accordance with Clause 36 of the framework Agreement, which we hereby invoke," said Amollo.

The withdrawal of Azimio from the talks comes a day after Amollo wrote to the committee requesting the suspension of talks.

In a letter dated May 30 and addressed to Kenya Kwanza co-chair George Murugara, Amollo stated that the decision was made during the Azimio la Umoja Parliamentary Group meeting on Tuesday.

"In the circumstances, we are withholding the issuance of a notice of dissolution under clause 38 of the framework agreement until you respond to the aforementioned concerns," he said.

The National Assembly Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi announced that the coalition had set a deadline for Kenya Kwanza until midnight on Tuesday to address their concerns or face unspecified consequences.

Wandayi emphasized that Kenya Kwanza had made no progress in addressing the issues raised, including a complete overhaul of the proposed Finance Bill, 2023, the opening of the election servers, and the high cost of living.

"Kenya Kwanza has until midnight Tuesday; otherwise, the talks will remain suspended," Wandayi said.

The Raila-led coalition has also demanded that Kenya Kwanza immediately refrain from interfering in the affairs of Azimio affiliate parties, particularly the Jubilee Party led by former President Uhuru Kenyatta.