WHO WILL BLINK FIRST? Opposition faces litmus test ahead of 2017 polls
Wiper Democratic Movement party leader, Kalonzo Musyoka, was on Tuesday endorsed as the party’s presidential candidate ahead of the 2017 General Election.
Kalonzo was endorsed during Wipers National Delegates Conference (NDC) held at the Kasarani gymnasium in Nairobi.
The colourful event was attended by top Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) leaders and those from the Amani National Congress (ANC).
Raila Odinga led the CORD brigade of Siaya Senator James Orengo, Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama, Mutula Kilonzo of Makueni and David Musila of Kitui among others.
ANC was led by its leader, Musalia Mudavadi and Kakamega Senator, Dr Bonny Khalwale.
CORD’s third principal and leader of Ford Kenya, Moses Wetangula, however, skipped the function and has been conspicuously missing in the coalition’s meetings of late.
The presence of Mudavadi is a sign of things to come even as the plan to form a National Super Alliance (NASA) are said to be at an advanced stage.
Odinga, Kalonzo, Wetangula and Mudavadi have already been endorsed by their respective parties as the flag bearers in the 2017 polls.
The entrance of Mudavadi to the coalition also serves to complicate the equation on who becomes the flag bearer to face the Jubilee Party’s and incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Mudavadi has been described by Kalonzo and Wetangula in the past as an outsider who should not be considered as the opposition’s presidential candidate.
The two have argued that Mudavadi has not been part of the opposition’s agenda especially during the most trying moments including the push for the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s (IEBC) reformation push.
Last week, Odinga and Mudavadi visited Laikipia and Tharaka Nithi Counties in a joint tour with details pointing to a joint force between the two in the 2017 elections.
Mudavadi was a member of Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and served as the Deputy Prime Minister under the Grand Coalition Government that was under the leadership of former President Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga, who served as the Prime Minister.
Mudavadi, however, fell out with Odinga in the year 2012 after Mudavadi expressed discontent with how ODM was run and inclined towards the Jubilee Coalition faction.
However, his relationship with Jubilee’s Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto was short-lived after the incumbent, President Kenyatta, made a u-turn failing to drop his presidential bid in favour of Mudavadi.
Kalonzo, Wetangula and Mudavadi have all challenged Odinga to support their presidential bids saying that the leader of the opposition has tried his luck at the presidency more than thrice but lost.
The coming together of the four opposition leaders has, however, been discredited by the Uhuru-led regime that has branded the much hyped NASA as a coalition of power-hungry individuals.
Odinga, who has been regarded as the country’s father of multi-party democracy, has also been trying to woo key political figures in the Rift Valley region among the Bomet Governor, Isaac Ruto, who seems to have fallen out with the Jubilee Party.
On Saturday, President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto visited Bomet County where they termed Governor Ruto as an ungrateful man whose only agenda is to achieve political mileage by riding on the suffering and misery of the Bomet people.
They accused him of opposing key development projects in the area including the construction of a university.
But in a quick rejoinder, Governor Ruto termed the Kenyatta-Ruto Jubilee administration as a government without an agenda.
The National Super Alliance (NASA) is described by the opposition leaders, Odinga and Mudavadi, as the best vehicle that can unseat President Kenyatta when the country goes to the ballot on Tuesday, August 8, 2017.
But will any of the four top contenders shelf their presidential ambitions? It’s a wait-and-see situation on who blinks first.