Kenyan opposition suspends People’s Assembly

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga shake hands after the two met on Friday. [Courtesy The Star]
Kenya’s opposition NASA coalition on Monday suspended the People’s Assembly following talks between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga.

The opposition outfit had rallied the formation of the People’s Assembly in its strongholds following the 8 August presidential election and 26 October repeat election, whose results it disputed.

Steering committee chairman David Ndii announced the suspension of the meetings even as the NASA principals – Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka, Moses Wetangula and Musalia Mudavadi – met for talks.

“We have accepted and we acknowledge that it’s better to reason together than alone. We are therefore suspending the People’s Assembly process,” Ndii said in a press conference held in the capital, Nairobi.

Ndii praised Kenyatta and Odinga for holding the talks, which caught most in the political arena by surprise.

“A nation is shared…this is the glue that holds us together…we must commend the two leaders because we have not had leaders do that in the past,” he said.

The formation of the People’s Assembly was seen as the force behind the swearing in of Raila Odinga as its president, though Musyoka – who was also supposed to be sworn in – skipped the event.

Kenya was engulfed by high ethnic tension following the two presidential votes, which aligned various ethnic groups into political sides.

President Kenyatta won both the 8 August and 26 October elections, securing his second five-year term as leader of the East African nation.