Ford-K breaks ranks on Cord proposal
Cord affiliates have differed on how the coalition’s nominations should be done after one of the parties said it did not support the idea of fielding a single candidate next year.
On Wednesday, the parties held separate press conferences in Nairobi, where they expressed different positions on how to pick aspirants to run for Senate, governorship, National Assembly and county assemblies in the coalition.
Ford Kenya maintained it would only accept its presidential candidate to run on a Cord ticket and would also reject the fielding of joint candidates.
A statement read by the party’s Deputy Leader Boni Khalwale made it clear that Ford-K would not support any other party for the positions.
After the Ford-K press briefing at Parliament Buildings, it was time for the Cord Management Committee co-chairs James Orengo and Johnson Muthama, who briefed reporters in the absence of Ford-K’s representative in the team, Dr Eseli Simiyu.
The two said they would push for a single candidate in every elective post.
Dr Khalwale, who was speaking on behalf of Ford-K, insisted that the party would only accept negotiations on the fielding of Cord candidates in Nairobi.
“Ford-Kenya will field candidates for the positions of governor, senator, woman representative, member of the National Assembly and member of the county assembly in all the electoral areas in Kenya,” said Dr Khalwale.
According to the party, led by Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula, Nairobi should be treated as a special elective area and consultative talks held to agree on which constituency a constituent party would field a candidate.
“Ford Kenya takes the understated position in the nomination process of candidates within Cord (that) Nairobi be considered an extra territorial county where negotiations must be held within Cord to map out constituencies and wards where respective parties will reserve the right to field candidates,” said the senator, who was accompanied by his Nyamira counterpart, Mr Kennedy Mong’are.
Mr Orengo and Mr Muthama read from a different script, saying talks were at an advanced stage to register Cord as a party and that they were pushing for single aspirants on it next year. Mr Orengo, the Siaya senator, said the coalition had learnt from past mistakes and would not divide its votes again by fielding separate candidates.
“Talks are at an advanced stage to register the party. Once we do that, we will have a single candidate for every elective post. This is not something we are doing in response to what is happening in the political arena, but it is something we have been planning for long,” said Mr Orengo.
Mr Muthama, the Machakos senator, said a Cord elections board will be appointed to handle nominations, but insisted that they stood a higher chance of getting higher numbers in both houses if they fielded one candidate to battle it out with Jubilee.
“We want to confirm we are working together. The board will help us in identifying a single candidate for the elective posts,” he said.
Other than the nominations, Ford Kenya demanded that a powerful position be created for one of the principals that will not be President or Deputy President should Cord win the elections. They said such a position should be agreed on before the polls.