Revealed: Secrets of Raila, Kalonzo talks

Orange party leader Raila Odinga on Friday got the green light to name Wiper’s Kalonzo Musyoka his running mate in the next elections after the latter’s top party organ endorsed a pre-election coalition deal with ODM.

It is understood Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka could announce their ticket at a yet-to-be-confirmed meeting in Mombasa on Sunday — the same day Mr Uhuru Kenyatta of The National Alliance and URP’s William Ruto, are set to unveil their joint ticket in Nakuru.

The Wiper Democratic Movement’s national executive council also called off talks with Musalia Mudavadi’s United Democratic Front (UDF) at a meeting where journalists were kept away.

The decision puts in doubt the possibility of a formidable third force fronted by Mr Musyoka and Mr Mudavadi to challenge ODM and the TNA-URP tickets.

Sources at Wiper’s meeting said party chairman David Musila presented a draft coalition document which, among other things, identifies a coalition with ODM as offering them the best opportunity to win the elections in the first round and remain in government.

The document was prepared by a team of Cabinet ministers drawn from the two parties.

“They are convinced that an alliance with Raila will enable them to win the next elections in the first round,” said Yatta MP Charles Kilonzo when contacted.

The document gives the presidential ticket to Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka deputy president. It also proposes that the two parties share Cabinet and top government positions on 50-50 basis.

But earlier on Friday, Mr Mutula Kilonzo, the Wiper secretary-general, sought to portray the deal as not casting stone, suggesting they are leaving the window open for Mr Mudavadi and New Ford Kenya’s Eugene Wamalwa in a broader coalition.

“Ours is not a 50-50- coalition. It is a broad-based alliance to accommodate people like Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi and Justice Eugene Wamalwa if they accept to join us,” he said.

The deal was struck at a meeting attended by Mr Mutula, Mr Musila, Kangundo MP Johnstone and ODM ministers James Orengo and Dalmas Otieno.

ODM’s and Wiper’s becomes the second major coalition as presidential aspirants race against time to enter pre-election pacts ahead of next Tuesday’s deadline for registering coalition deals with the Registrar of Political Parties.

Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto were the first to agree on a coalition in which the latter will be Mr Kenyatta’s running mate. (Read: Raila dismisses rivals’ alliance)

The Wiper-ODM deal curiously will not be signed by the VP. Mr Musyoka was expected to jet back last night from Malaysia but it is Mr Musila and Mr Kilonzo, who will sign on his behalf.

The deal, however, has drawn opposition from a section of MPs from Wiper’s Ukambani stronghold who see it as the initiative of Mr Musila, Mr Kilonzo, Mr Muthama and former Cabinet minister Nyiva Mwendwa.

Last week, Mr Kilonzo, the Yatta MP, questioned the ability of Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka to run a coalition government smoothly if they won an election given their sharp differences dating back to their days in the Liberal Democratic Party and later in ODM Kenya.

The PM and the VP parted ways in the lead-up to the 2007 elections and went on to stage supremacy fights after the grand coalition government was formed.

However, Mr Mutula, also the Education minister, argues that their perceived differences arose from normal political rivalry, not enmity.

“There is nothing like permanent enemies or friends in politics. It is about interests,” he said.

He said the draft coalition document was a comprehensive structure of government that proposes how the 22 Cabinet secretaries and parastatal chiefs will be shared out.

“It is a coalition of the whole country and all the 47 counties will feel accommodated,” he said.

Mr Musila said his party favoured an arrangement where Mr Mudavadi is on board.

Mr Kilonzo said they would fashion their campaign around the need to implement the Constitution and bring stability to the country.

ODM officials in Mombasa were on Friday upbeat that the Tononoka rally would be attended by Mr Kalonzo, but guarded confidantes of the VP said his attendance would be determined by his agreement to join the proposed coalition.

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