Allies of ODM leader Raila Odinga have rubbished claims that they failed in Parliament during the debate on the Political Parties (Amendment) Bill, 2021.
A section of the media on Thursday reported that the Deputy President William Ruto “won the first round” of the controversial debate that will clear the way for formation of coalitions ahead of next year’s General Election.
On Wednesday, during the debate on the Bill sponsored by Majority Leader Amos Kimunya, 17 amendments, majority of them by MPs allied to DP Ruto, had been approved by Deputy Speaker Moses Cheboi (Kuresoi North) with many others still being processed. The amendments saw Mr Cheboi defer the afternoon sitting to the next sitting of the House.
As MPs allied to the President and to Mr Odinga cried foul, those sympathetic to DP Ruto celebrated even as Mr Kimunya warned them that it was too soon.
Parliament had to adjourn to January to allow the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee to go through the amendments before MPs can debate on it.
This is against the wish of Mr Odinga and his allies who were hoping that the Bill would pass on Wednesday to allow the formation of a coalition called Azimio La Umoja, which seeks to have Mr Odinga as the 2022 presidential candidate.
But while speaking on Thursday at a meeting in Central Karachuonyo ward in Karachuonyo Constituency in Homa Bay in the presence of Mr Odinga, a section of ODM MPs dismissed reports that the DP’s allies won the debate.
Homa Bay Woman Representative Gladys Wanga, Kasipul MP Ong’ondo Were and Karachuonyo MP Adipo Okuome said they won the debate.
Ms Wanga said the parliamentary sitting has proven that the Deputy President has no support at the National Assembly.
The Woman Rep further said Mr Odinga should not be branded as a state project, since he has national support.
“All Kenyans know Raila’s long history in the fight for democracy in Kenya. This is why he is so popular,” Ms Wanga said.
Mr Were expressed confidence that the Bill will eventually pass.
“Under the guidance of our party leader, we are confident that the Bill will sail through,” Mr Were.
Mr Okuome on his part blamed Deputy Speaker Moses Cheboi for adjourning the sitting prematurely.
Mr Odinga, on his part, steered clear of the debate.
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