Opposition leaders led by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga are unbowed in their quest to oust IEBC commissioners from office.
A day after CORD principals Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetangula, led their supporters on Monday to stage a protest outside Anniversary tower-the IEBC-Headquarters, Raila has announced more protests.
This was the full press statement:
“We wish to begin by thanking Kenyans for turning out in large numbers and marching in peace to demand the resignation of the IEBC commissioners.
Some of our people may have sustained injuries as a result of the live bullets and the teargas that police fired but nobody must give up. We must soldier on. Nothing comes easy and we are under no illusion that change at the IEBC will come easy. But it will come.
We also encourage our people not to fall victim to the State propaganda that we are in anyway acting illegally.
We are acting within the rights in Article 37 and 38 of our Constitution.
And to those arguing that we must go to Parliament if we want change; let us remind them that all sovereign power belongs to the people of Kenya. The people may exercise their sovereign power either directly or through their democratically elected representatives. In the case of removal of IEBC commissioners, the people have decided to exercise their sovereignty directly.
It is now accepted that the IEBC no longer enjoys the confidence of Kenyans across the board. They have shown ineptitude in fulfilling the constitutional obligations required of the electoral body to conduct free and fair elections administered in an impartial, neutral, efficient, accurate and accountable manner. The scandals of chickengate are a tip of the iceberg in an institution that is now riddled with corruption and sleaze.
IEBC is now fighting for its survival and not preparing the country for a general election that is transparent and in which every vote will count and to deliver an election result that will ensure that every adult Kenyan Citizen has registered as a voter and will be able to exercise the right to vote on the basis of the free expression of the will of the people and universal suffrage.
CORD is committed to entering into a dialogue on the way forward to establish and reconstitute the IEBC. The discussions should be open to all stakeholders including civil society and other non-state actors. As a coalition of political parties we know our role under the Constitution, the Political Parties Act and the Elections Act and we do not need lectures from the discredited commissioners of IEBC including the Chairman. It is foolhardy and childish to say that IEBC will ban CORD from participating in elections. That is brinkmanship, megalomania or childish petulance. It is an abuse of constitutional mandate and responsibility.
In the wake of the controversies surrounding the 2013 presidential elections and the impugned procurement of election materials IEBC would have embarked immediately after the 2013 elections in carrying an internal audit and postmortem of the elections and its general operations and invited all stakeholders for a review and to implement appropriate action and reforms through mandated public organs or institutions. That has never been done.
CORD will not seek to impose its views on the citizenry. It has never been our goal to attempt to establish government otherwise than in compliance with the constitution. And governments in democracies are formed through free, fair, and regular elections. The role, competence and integrity of a legitimate electoral body are at the centre of the process of formation of government. The conduct and ability of IEBC cannot therefore be left to elite within the political class. That has mutated the commission to an electoral mongrel and appendage of the executive. Elections are serious business.
We therefore today give notice that unless the IEBC Commissioners vacate office now or immediately and unless there is established an inclusive mechanism for structured dialogue put in place, again, immediately we will continue to organize demonstrations and protest rallies countrywide on every succeeding Monday until our conditions are met.
Let us meet at Anniversary Towers and other IEBC offices across the nation next Monday.”