Cord Abandons Merger Plans Ahead Of 2017
CORD has abandoned plans to merge affiliates and instead will model itself on the National Rainbow Coalition that ended Kanu’s 24-year rule, the Star has established.
Details emerged as Raila Odinga leads his ODM troops for two-day talks at the Maanzoni Lodge this weekend, ahead of a retreat for the entire coalition next month.
This means the Cord affiliate parties — ODM, Wiper and Ford Kenya — will not fold up but instead field joint candidates to eliminate internal competition and reverse Jubilee’s tyranny of numbers.
As part of the strategy, Cord has divided the country into three broad zones to guide the coalition’s joint nominations.
“The Cord executive management committee and the coalition think tank have decided that all the affiliate parties will remain independent. However, we shall have joint nominations in all elective seats,” a source familiar with the deal told the Star.
In preparation of the 2002 elections, the National Alliance Party of Kenya then led by Mwai Kibaki teamed up with the Liberal Democratic Party to form the National Alliance of Rainbow Coalition (Narc) that ended President Daniel Moi’s rule.That c
That coalition fell apart, however, after a divisive plebiscite in 2005.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto prefer the merger route, however, have formed the Jubilee Alliance Party as their 2017 vehicle. TNA and URP are expected to disband and merge into JAP, though not all party members are enthusiastic.
Initially, there was a feeling it was difficult for the Cord affiliate parties to continue seeking parallel support from the 47 counties, as this amounted to serious conflict of interest.
But in the new deal, the opposition has zoned the country into Strongholds, Battlegrounds and Red Zones.
Opposition think tanks believe this strategy will bolster Cord’s presidential flag-bearer’s bid to unseat Kenyatta — by eliminating the nomination fallout that punctured Raila’s presidential bid in 2013.
Think tank strategists are determined to correct the mistakes of 2013 and craft what some have called “unstoppable brand Raila”.
According to the plan, Cord affiliate parties – ODM, Wiper and Ford Kenya – would only fight it out in primaries in the “battlegrounds” and the “red zones” to come up with the coalition’s candidates.
Battlegrounds are areas where the three parties are believed to share popularity, such as Northeastern and Nairobi.
Red zones are perceived Jubilee turf, especially in Central and the Rift Valley.
To rejuvenate its grassroots support and reawaken its political networks ahead of the 2017 polls, both ODM and Wiper are planning grassroots polls.
ODM has unveiled a two-tier leadership structure and its staggered grassroots polls are to begin on August 29.
The strategy is to strengthen the party’s grassroots leadership, which is critical in mobilising supporters to register, vote and later “protect” their votes.
The ODM retreat will begin on ?Sunday? through Monday.
It was not clear, however, whether Raila’s allies will continue to push for the removal of Wiper’s Francis Nyenze from his position as National Assembly minority leader.
A section of ODM MPs accuse Nyenze of incompetence and poor leadership in pushing Cord’s agenda in the Jubilee majority-led House.