President Uhuru Kenyatta today yielded to demands from CORD leaders led by Raila Odinga for dialogue and agreed to forming a parliamentary select committee to review reforms of the IEBC. Here is his statement today at State House.
Dear Kenyans, Good afternoon,
The debate around IEBC reforms has been raging for a while now. And as President, I wish to give direction regarding this matter.
Let me begin by affirming Article 1 of Chapter 1 of our Constitution, which states that “…All sovereign power belongs to the people of Kenya…” But the Article goes ahead to emphasize that this power “…shall be exercised ONLY in accordance with the constitution” Any attempts to exercise it outside the provisions of the constitution not only undermines both the spirit and letter of the constitution, but is also a recipe for confusion and anarchy.
Secondly, let me reaffirm Article 3(1) of the constitution that states; “…every person has an obligation to respect, uphold and defend this constitution” This obligation is NOT an OPTION. It is imperative, mandatory and an irreducible civic duty. As your President, I have sworn to defend it; but as citizens, you have this irreversible duty to protect it.
It is in the spirit of these constitutional provisions that today I held consultations with Religious Leaders drawn from most faiths in the country. I also invited our two speakers, Hon. Justin Muturi of the National Assembly and Hon. Ekwe Ethuro of the Senate to attend.
At this meeting we agreed on the following steps on how to move the country forward.
FIRSTLY, Subsequent to the agreement of the Speakers, a Joint Select Committee of both houses of Parliament be set up in accordance with the standing orders of both houses. The mandate of the committee will be strictly and exclusively the matter of IEBC.
SECONDLY, As provided for in the standing orders of both houses of Parliament, and in the constitutional spirit of public participation, all stakeholders, public and private should be accorded an opportunity to make submissions to the joint select committee.
THIRDLY, We expect that other initiatives by Parliament will harmonize their work within the framework of the joint select committee.
FOURTHLY, As the leader of Jubilee, I have convened a meeting of the Parliamentary Group tomorrow morning to agree on the membership and Jubilee’s participation in the joint select committee.
Uhuru Kenyatta, CGH
8th June, 2016