Talks on repeat presidential election have collapsed at the Bomas of Kenya.
The deliberations ended in disarray on Thursday after National Super Alliance (Nasa) delegation walked out to protest
The walk-out came hours after Jubilee-controlled National Assembly voted to shorten the maturation period for two Bills to change the way presidential elections are managed.
The Nation has reliably learned that the Nasa delegation, led by Siaya Senator James Orengo, opted to walk out of the Bomas meeting after Jubilee representatives refused a proposal to shelve debate on the two bills.
Mr Orengo said the coalition would not be party to a scheme by jubilee to reintroduce dictatorship through Parliament.
“”We cannot be party to a meeting that us changing the rules of the game midstream. This is part of the arrogance of the ruling regime,” Mr Orengo said.
“We have reached a point where laws are changed through the backdoor and we have decided to leave jubilee to their desires.”
However, Senate Deputy Speaker Kithure Kindiki, who led the jubilee team in the talks, dismissed Nasa’s assertions as part of the games the coalition had perfected in recent days.
Prof Kindiki claimed that Nasa’s walkout was triggered after the coalition realised they would not have their way in the meeting
“Clearly, Nasa did not want this meeting to take place because they are not ready for election,” he said
He claimed that Nasa had placed so many demands on the table, whose main objective he claimed was to undermine the October 26 election
He said Jubilee was ready to do ensure the election is held in a free and credible environment as ordered by the court.
However, Mr Chebukati, who chaired the meeting appeared to support Nasa position when he revealed the meeting had been scuttled by the bill.
“The meeting did not proceed because Nasa felt the bill as tabled in Parliament will affect the preparation and the conduct of the fresh elections,” he said.
And while he noted that he had not internalised the amendments in the bill, Mr Chebukati warned Parliament against passing amendments that will alter the already going on preparations.
“While it is the role of Parliament to make laws, it is the commission’s view that the amendments should not affect the process that has already been put in place.”
He asked MPs not to limit his powers, saying as he the head of the commission, he needs more powers to effectively deliver on his mandate.
Mr Chebukati’s reaction was in responde to MPs plan to transfer some of his powers, including that being of the only presidential returtning officer, to his deputy.
The chairman also said President Kenyatta and Nasa leader Raila Odinga will have attend the next meeting in person to avoid “sideshows”.
“Next time we want principals to come in person. We don’t want generals to cause sideshows here ahead of the election…we must meet sooner rather than later.”
Despite the talks collapsing, the chairman said doors were still open for stakeholders to consult when ready.
“IEBC doors are open to engage anyone,” he said. “Hopefully, they will reconsider and come back to us. We will not get tired of engaging parties.”