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Monday May 18, 2020 – Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) will not enter into a coalition agreement with the ruling Jubilee Party for now but will base its engagements on the Handshake deal between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader, Raila Odinga.

Speaking yesterday, ODM Director of Elections, Junet Mohammed, said whereas other Opposition leaders had indicated willingness to work with Uhuru’s Government and even signed a post-election agreement, the Orange Party will continue to cooperate with Jubilee based on the Handshake framework.

“Some people especially in western Kenya and other ODM strongholds expect us to follow KANU and sign a coalition agreement with Jubilee . . . we already have the Handshake agreement with the President.”

“We will engage with Jubilee on the basis of the Handshake,” Junet stated.

In what is seen as an effort to tame Deputy President William Ruto, Uhuru has signed post-coalition agreements with Senator Gideon Moi’s Kanu and Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) of former Bomet Governor, Isaac Ruto.  

KANU and Jubilee held a joint Parliamentary Group (PG) meeting which saw two of Ruto’s allies kicked out of key posts in the Senate.

The joint Senate PG saw KANU’s Samuel Poghisio elevated to the Senate Leader of Majority.

He said ODM will continue to be the minority party “until after the referendum” and help the Government get the economy back on its feet after the coronavirus pandemic.

“The ODM is keen to play a central role in the government’s economic agenda; we are ready and willing to engage with the Government on the recovery strategy,” he said.

Raila has declared that 2020 will be the year of the referendum, a demand that has stirred protests from the DP’s camp which has described it as a waste of public resources.

The Opposition chief is pushing for the vote to entrench proposals by the BBI team which suggest radical changes to the Executive including the post of Prime Minister with two deputies. 

The BBI has also proposed creation of the Office of the Leader of Official Opposition.

However, Ruto’s side has expressed reservations about Raila’s push, claiming that it is calculated to frustrate his presidential ambitions. 


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