Two political parties have been dealt a blow in their bid to exit the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party ahead of the August 9 General Election.
The parties, Maendeleo Chap Chap and Pamoja African Alliance (PAA), had written to the Registrar of Political Parties seeking to withdraw from the coalition, which supports ODM leader Raila Odinga’s presidential candidature.
In a communique to the officials of the parties, Anne Nderitu, the parties registrar, stated that the coalition agreement filed in her office last month bars them from exiting the outfit prematurely, indicating that they will remain constituent parties until they meet the conditions for withdrawal.
“Your attention is drawn to the provisions of the Third Schedule to the PPA (Political Parties Act) and the Azimio coalition agreement that stipulate the procedure for a party to either join or exit the coalition,” Ms Nderitu wrote in separate letters to the two parties.
The agreement stipulates that no constituent party will be able to leave the coalition for at least a year. It further provides that no party can exit the coalition at least six months before the August polls.
Any party which wishes to bolt out of the coalition will only be allowed to do so at least three months after the elections.
Even then, the party is required to issue a 90-day notice to the Coalition Council, which is the second-highest organ of the coalition party.
“No party may withdraw from the coalition six months before the August 2022 General Election or within three months after the date of the said General Election,” the agreement states in Article 22.
PAA, which is led by Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi, wants to exit Azimio on grounds that the coalition agreement was not ratified by its National Executive Committee (NEC).
PAA leadership argues that the party resolved to join a coalition rather than a coalition party, and that the party has not been given a copy of the coalition agreement signed on April 5.
On the other hand, a section of members of the Alfred Mutua-led Maendeleo Chap Chap party asked to withdraw from the coalition arguing that the party leader didn’t follow due process before signing the agreement.
The members further allege that the resolutions to join forces with other parties under the Azimio Coalition Party were not approved by the party’s delegates.
“The party leader is not one of the signatories in signing agreements,” the members said in a letter to Ms Nderitu.