Roundup: Opposition in Kenya steps up efforts to form Peoples' Assemblies
NAIROBI, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- Opposition coalition National Super Alliance (NASA) has stepped up efforts to create Peoples' Assemblies in its strongholds as a political standoff over elections between NASA and ruling Jubilee Party continues.
At least five counties have so far debated motions by the coalition to form the assemblies through which NASA seeks to push for electoral reforms and justice.
The counties have adopted the proposals for the formation of the Peoples' Assemblies, which would comprise of legislators, Members of County Assemblies, unionists and ordinary citizens, among others.
Through the assemblies, NASA would seek to review the performance of various constitutional commissions including the electoral body, the National Police Service, the National Intelligence Service, the Public Service Commission, the Ethic s and Anti-Corruption Commission and the National Cohesion and Integration Commission.
The coalition has accused the commissions of favoring the ruling party Jubilee while doing their work, thus defeating justice.
NASA also wants the review of the Constitution to be undertaken to reform the structure of the Executive, Parliament and devolved units.
The coalition would also seek to reinforce measures for the promotion of inclusivity, welfare of the marginalized, advancement of women and youth, eradication of corruption and poverty and to secure social justice, equality and fairness.
NASA leader Raila Odinga accused President Uhuru Kenyatta of Jubilee party of rigging the Aug. 8 and Oct. 26 polls, which he boycotted.
Odinga after the Aug. 8 polls challenged Kenyatta's win at the Supreme Court and won the case, with fresh polls being scheduled on Oct. 26.
However, the coalition accused the electoral commission of failing to institute reforms to guarantee free and fair polls and boycotted the polls.
NASA has therefore resorted to various measures to push for reforms in the country, with Odinga saying he does not recognize Kenyatta's win.
Besides the Peoples' Assemblies, NASA has advocated for economic sabotage through boycott of products from companies associated with Jubilee government and has called for streets protests and formation of interim government.
NASA supporters are optimistic about the assemblies and believe they would help keep Jubilee government on check, despite Kenyatta being in power.
Senator Moses Kajwang of Homa Bay County noted that the assemblies would push for the search for electoral justice.
"Through Peoples' Assemblies, the quest for electoral justice is unstoppable. In Homa Bay we have led the way," he said.
Through the peoples' assemblies, NASA hopes to decentralize power and frustrate Kenyatta's second term in office as the assemblies would be a parallel government.
NASA co-principal Musalia Mudavadi has termed them as a rescue mechanism against misuse of delegated powers to independent institutions.
Mudavadi noted that the Executive, Parliament and Judiciary have sabotaged, failed and betrayed the citizens' wishes, leading to an erosion and miscarriage of electoral justice.
Jubilee Party supporters have however dismissed the assemblies, noting that they cannot delegitimize Kenyatta's tenure.
"NASA is spinning around new animal called Peoples' Assembly in their strongholds to delegitimize Kenyatta's re-election. So, what was the need of having new Constitution if some guys are throwing it away?" posed Vincent Kariuki, an accountant and a Jubilee supporter.
Deputy President William Ruto, a Jubilee leader, has dismissed the assemblies, noting NASA would not take power through the back door.
While some leg al experts have lauded the formation of the assemblies noting NASA has resorted to fight for justice through legal means, others say they are a risky undertaking and could lead to two parallel governments.Source: Google News