Nasa fails to agree on criteria to pick flag-bearer

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Nasa co-principal Musalia Mudavadi addressing supporters
Nasa co-principal Musalia Mudavadi addressing supporters at a rally in Narok on March 10, 2017. Nasa was expected to unveil its flag-bearer later this month or early April. PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

A team tasked by the National Super Alliance (Nasa) to work out a formula of nominating a presidential candidate and sharing power has failed to reach an agreement, it has emerged.

Sources within the alliance said a planned retreat for its coordinating committee and the technical wing may not take place this weekend since nothing substantial had been agreed on by the team nearly a month after it was created.

The team has further been unable to agree on joint nominations with Wiper Democratic Movement, Amani National Congress (ANC) and Ford-Kenya insisting on individual party nominations.

The alliance’s national coordinating committee is hence scheduled to meet tomorrow in a bid to unlock the stalemate.

This comes as a confident ANC leader and Nasa co-principal Musalia Mudavadi said yesterday all was well with the alliance.

Nasa, which is headed by Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga and his co-principals Mudavadi, Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper) and Ford-Kenya’s Moses Wetang’ula, was expected to unveil its flag-bearer later this month or early April.

Yesterday, Lugari MP Ayub Savula confirmed that partner parties had agreed to abandon the joint nomination venture after the committee failed to strike a common ground on it.

“The brief we have is that talks on other thematic areas are still in progress,” said Mr Savula by phone, adding: “We have however been informed that the story of joint nominations has failed.”

The committee comprises Senators James Orengo (Siaya, ODM), Johnson Muthama (Machakos, Wiper) and Dr Boni Khalwale (Kakamega, Ford-K), as well as MPs Sakwa Bunyasi (Nambale, ANC), Francis Nyenze (Kitui West, Wiper), Eseli Simiyu (Tongaren) and Chris Wamalwa (Kiminini) of Ford-K and ODM’s Timothy Bosire (Kitutu-Masaba) and Dr Agnes Zani (nominated). It also has former MPs Farah Maalim and Kipruto arap Kirwa.

STRONGHOLDS

Nasa’s arch rivals Jubilee Party has challenged the opposition alliance to name a candidate to face President Uhuru Kenyatta in the August 8 General Elections.

Sources within Nasa revealed that it has also been jolted by ongoing lone-ranger campaigns by Mr Musyoka, a former Vice-President, while his party has been accused of internal poaching targeted at affiliate parties. Wiper has received dozens of ODM officials.

“We are not agreeing on anything,” an opposition MP who is keenly following the events observed.

“The situation is getting desperate as we are constantly distracted by one MP from (former) Eastern Province who has apparently adopted a hard-line stance on everything.”

On joint nominations, parties appear have taken strong positions.

Wiper Secretary-General Hassan Omar, the Mombasa senator, dismissed the idea, saying his party will go it alone in all the seats as it seeks to “retain its identity”.

ODM Director of Elections Junet Mohamed, the Suna East MP, quickly responded, saying the party will not allow Nasa affiliates to field candidates in its strongholds.

On Thursday, Mr Wetang’ula categorically stated: “There will be no joint nominations other than for the position of coalition President under Nasa.”

“To our supporters, we tell them: There is no cause for alarm,” said Mr Mudavadi, hinting at a middle ground reached by the affiliate parties.

“We have seen places where we need to be strategic and sit at the table but, in the majority of the country, each party has the freedom to field its own candidates.”

-nation.co.ke

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