Raila Odinga

ODM leader Raila Odinga has called off countrywide mass protests.

This comes after President William Ruto addressed the nation and urged Raila to call off the demonstrations to give room for talks.

In a rejoinder, Raila who addressed the nation from his Capital office on Sunda termed Ruto's statement as 'important" and a "positive" development.

"We acknowledge Mr Ruto’s olive branch for a dialogue on key issues raised by Azimio La Umoja. To us, this is a positive development." Raila said.

"I believe that Kenya is today facing its worst crisis in decades out of which we could recover or go the way of other failed states.

Raila said they have decided to call off protests for Monday and Thursday this week to give room for Ruto's kind gesture and allow dialogue on issues raised.

"We want to strengthen our democracy and we want to ensure that how Kenyans vote is what the commission announce," Raila said.

"We are ready to engage and we will engage without any form of corruption and this process should start as early as tomorrow."

Raila warned that the mass protests would resume after a week if no meaningful progress is made.

Addressing the nation from State House Nairobi on Sunday, the President said he is ready to engage any leader.

He said they are willing to engage as long as Ruto and his team are ready.

"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," he said.

He, however, maintained that the talks must be based on sincere deliberations anchored on the rule of law.

"My door still remains open for honest, objective and sincere deliberations based on the rule of law and the Constitution,"  he said.

He suggested a bi-partisan engagement in Parliament on the reconstitution of the IEBC panel within the parameters of the law and the Constitution.

"I urge Raila and the opposition to call off the demonstration and give bi- partisan approach for us to take Kenya forward."

Ruto said he has listened to issues raised by the ODM leader and saw it wise to back down on his hardline stance for the good of the country.

"I have carefully listened to the issues raised by my friend Raila Odinga. In times like these, it is not about who is right or who is wrong. Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak but it is also what it takes to sit down and listen," he said.

Among the issues, the President said will be re-looked to accommodate the opposition's views is the recruitment of the IEBC commissioners.

He referred the matter back to parliament for a bi-partisan approach to arrive at a neutral solution.