Daadab Member of Parliament (MP) Farah Maalim has said United States senator Chris Coons played a significant role in getting both President Ruto and Azimio leader Raila to call a truce.
Speaking on Citizen TV on Monday, he said Senator Coons engaged leaders from the Kenya Kwanza government and Azimio coalition, which led to Sunday’s call for talks by President Ruto and a suspension of demonstrations by Raila Odinga.
“I think the biggest game changer here is not the church, not the religious sector, not the political class. The biggest game changer here is the American senator who came Chris Coon, who went and talked to everybody and told them to stand down,” Maalim said.
Further, the MP compared the truce to the engagement done in the previous government between former President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila.
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Maalim noted that nothing was delivered for Kenyans because, at that time, the problem was spontaneity, is that Kenyans were suffering and Kenyans were rising to, among other things, the high cost of living at that time and a lot of things that were happening; discrimination in priorities and state capture.
“That spontaneous, popular anger was hijacked by us the political class and we cut our deals behind the scenes and that was the end of it. Whether this one is going to be any different, I have my doubts about it.”
This follows extending an olive branch to Raila and the proposal of a bi-partisan parliamentary process on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission commissioners’ recruitment by President Ruto on Sunday.
"Our position is that we want to engage our brothers and sisters on the other side on issues that are important to Kenyans, them as an opposition, us as a government," Ruto said.
ODM leader Raila Odinga in a similar move, called off mass protests slated for Monday while readying himself for dialogue with President William Ruto.
But even as he showed commitment to dialogue, Raila warned that the demos might resume after a week if no meaningful progress is made.
Raila said discussions on issues raised should fasten and begin as quickly as possible.