Kenyan ODM party disowns govt decision to challenge ICC cases
Nairobi (Alshahid) -One arm of Kenya’s Grand Coalition government on Thursday disowned an announcement that the Government will challenge the admissibility of the Kenya cases at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The move by the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party came a day after a statement signed by three members of Cabinet stated Kenya will go to the ICC and challenge the admissibility of the cases as well as the court’s jurisdiction over the 2007/2008 post election violence.
The statement was signed by Security Minister Prof George Saitoti, Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo and Attorney-Generaal Amos Wako, all of who were appointed by ODM’s coalition partner, the Party of National Unity (PNU).
This followed a meeting which was chaired by President Kibaki and attended by Prime Minister Raila Odinga who is also the party leader of the ODM.
Terming the plans as a “partial” expression of views by ministers, the ODM party announced that it will hold its National Executive Council-cum-Parliamentary Group meeting on Thursday to deliberate on its position in the coalition.
ODM Secretary General Anyang Nyong’o said: “Two ministers in government spoke which I do not see as any official position of government. I take it as partial expression of views by some ministers which ODM does not necessarily support.”
Prof Nyong’o, deputy chief whip Benjamin Washiali and executive director Janet Ong’era said the NEC/PG will discuss the ICC process and whether three of the suspects who are still holding public office should vacate.
Addressing journalists at Orange House party headquarters, Prof Nyong’o supported Lands Minister James Orengo’s assertion that the government should have convened a Cabinet meeting to come out with a shared position on the ICC.
“This is a coalition government and as a party we must have a position,” Prof Nyong’o said.
The now weakened ODM believes that if its deputy party leader and de facto leader of Rift Valley people is taken to the Hague as well as central province heavy weight Uhuru Kenya who is also the Deputy PM and Finance Minister; then Raila Odinga may have chances of winning the presidential election.
However, it appears that the path ODM has taken only hardens people’s views against Raila who is seen as a candidate of his cousin US president Barrack Obama.