Secrets of Raila and Kalonzo power deal

On a day Prime Minister Raila Odinga is expected to be named the presidential flagbearer of the Cord alliance and Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka his running mate, we reveal secrets of their power deal and how the coalition will run the Government if it wins the General Election.

The pillar of the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy’s agreement is a requirement that all appointments will be subject to consultations between the two leaders, in a way akin to how President Kibaki and PM Raila operated under the Grand Coalition Government.

The deal signed on December 4 by ODM, Wiper and Ford-Kenya – of  Trade Minister Moses Wetang’ula – also stipulates how the coalition will be governed, including its structures and dispute resolution mechanism.

The Coalition Summit sits at the apex of the structure and will have as its members coalition leaders Raila, Kalonzo and Wetang’ula.

“The Summit shall be the supreme organ of the coalition,” states the agreement.

Its duty will be to lead the coalition, convene and chair meetings of its organs including the Executive Board and the Parliamentary Group, and speak for the alliance.

In the agreement, the parties committed that if they win the elections, the President will make appointments to government “in consultation and concurrence with the Deputy President”.

Party strength will also be a basis for sharing out positions between the parties to the Coalition.

“The coalition shall take into account the relative and comparative MPs from each party,” states article 11, clause 2 (ii) of the agreement obtained exclusively by The Standard On Saturday.

ODM and Wiper will also “consult and concur” before sacking anyone appointed to the National Government. Although Ford-Kenya is party to the agreement, the party does not appear to have been accorded equal status in appointments.

Ford-Kenya is mentioned in Article 10, which provides that Cord has assigned the Majority Leader or Minority Leader in Parliament to Ford-Kenya.

“Subject to the Constitution or any other law and the results of the General Election, the position of Majority Leader and Minority Leader in either houses of Parliament shall be assigned to Ford Kenya,” states the agreement.

The Majority Leader is the leader of government business while Minority Leader is the official leader of the opposition in the House.

Friday, the Cord leaders firmed up their plans at a retreat in Naivasha ahead of today’s big day at Uhuru Park, where  Cord is expected to name it flag bearer.

Raila and Uhuru were each endorsed by their respective party National Delegates Conferences to contest the presidency, but it is widely expected the PM is the Cord coalition flag bearer.

Cord flagbearer

The agreement provides for the coalition to pick its presidential candidate through consultation and consensus.

“For the purpose of the General Election on March 4, the coalition – and in particular ODM and Wiper Democratic Movement – shall nominate the candidates for the position of President and Deputy President through consultations,” states Article 3 of the agreement.

The two parties will also have joint nominations for the positions of Governor in Nairobi, Mombasa and Nakuru.   However, in each of the three counties, the governor and deputy will not be from the same party. In other counties, the parties will field respective candidates in a joint nomination that is expected to be free and fair.

“This will be together with their running mates as candidates for deputy governors and the candidates shall contest the General Election as a team under the joint ticket of the coalition,” states the document.

Kangundo MP Johnstone Muthama has said the coalition intends to transform into a single party.

They will also jointly sponsor candidates in the both houses of Parliament and county assemblies. The positions earmarked are Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Majority leader/Minority leader, Whips, chairmen and vice chairmen of the committees in the Senate, National and County assemblies. The coalition will be managed by a Charter, attached as a schedule, which stipulates the parties involved and spells out the structure and organs of the coalition.

In the agreement, the Summit is expected to appoint experts to come up with the Cord manifesto and members of the arbitration panel.

The next top organ after Summit is the Executive Board, followed by the Coalition Governing Council, joint Parliamentary Group and the Secretariat.

The document states that the Coalition Executive Board will have each of the three party leaders, four members from ODM, Wiper, Ford Kenya and two members representing all other parties. The coalition’s Governing Council will comprise the Summit, members of the Executive Board, Cabinet Secretaries, Members of Parliament, Executive Committees of parties and Governors.

In addition, there will be a body bringing together joint party County Assembly members.

Crucial organs

The coalition’s Executive Board will manage and conduct coalition affairs, receive and consider reports from coalition organs and resolve disputes within the coalition.

The Joint Parliamentary Group will be chaired by one of the Coalition Whips, who will have a rotational six-month tenure.

The agreement has a section on the code of conduct, enforcement mechanisms and sanctions while disputes will be resolved by an arbitration panel whose decision will be final.

After the Panel, the aggrieved party can only proceed to the Political Parties Tribunal. The Panel does not recognise advocates during dispute resolution.

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