NAIROBI, Kenya, March 21 – National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale says CORD co-principal Raila Odinga is best placed to face President Uhuru Kenyatta in the August 8 presidential election.
Speaking as he introduced debate on the President’s State of the Nation address, Duale cunningly urged Odinga’s co-principals against keeping Kenyans guessing any longer and instead name the former Prime Minister as the Opposition flag bearer.
Duale who is usually critical of Odinga rolled out a list of achievements that he claimed makes the ODM leader stand out over his counterparts in the Opposition.
“We have our candidate Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta. We have our party, the Jubilee Party. We have our scorecard. We are ready; the referee is ready… we are humbly asking our competitors, we are in the field; we are ready… the crowd has filled the stadium only the other side is not present.”
“I humbly ask, don’t take us round, don’t call too many press conferences, we know who among the pack who is ahead, I have worked with him, he has the numbers, he has the resources, he has the think tank, he has been tested, he has been the Prime Minister, give it to Raila Odinga,” he declared.
Media reports have recently claimed that the Opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) Committee had developed a scheme that will see either the principals agreeing among themselves or constituting a select electoral college to name a flag bearer.
According to a newspaper article, the committee, which met Monday, wants the principals – Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), Musalia Mudavadi (Amani National Congress), Odinga (Orange Democratic Movement) and Moses Wetang’ula (Ford Kenya) to agree among themselves who should fly the NASA flag or, in the absence of this, the electoral college to be constituted to name the flag bearer.
It comes after days of heightened speculation that Musyoka was planning to go it alone. There have also been bitter exchanges among National Super Alliance affiliates on whether to hold joint or separate nominations next month in party strongholds.
“Unless the presidential candidate, the flag bearer, is Kalonzo, I don’t see us moving anywhere,” Opposition Minority Leader in the National Assembly Francis Nyenze said while alluding to a 2013 Memorandum of Understanding between Odinga and Musyoka in which the ODM leader was to be a one-term President (if he won) and support his Wiper counterpart this year.
Election timelines released by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission state that presidential candidates have until April 15 to present their nomination papers.