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Nasa leaders in race against time to unveil flagbearer

The five Nasa chiefs were on Tuesday racing against time to conclude talks on their presidential candidate ahead of Thursday’s unveiling ceremony at Uhuru Park.

The talks, according to sources close to the leaders, were slowed down by the ongoing party primaries.

For instance, a meeting scheduled for Tuesday morning had to be shifted to the afternoon following a request by ODM leader Raila Odinga to be given time to handle issues arising from the party’s nominations in Nairobi. The party was forced to call off the primaries due to what it termed a “serious security breach”.

The sources, however, revealed that the five – Mr Odinga, Mr Kalonzo Musyoka, Mr Musalia Mudavadi, Mr Moses Wetang’ula and Mr Isaac Ruto – had finally agreed on power-sharing.

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SAFE HOUSE

“They had a marathon meeting at a “safe house” yesterday (Monday) and agreed, in principle, on how to share power and what the Nasa government will look like,” said a source close to one of the Opposition chiefs.

None of the principals contacted answered their phones, with close aides saying they had resolved not to talk to the press over the talks.

Besides the positions of president and his deputy, the principals are said to have agreed to create the position of senior cabinet secretary in charge of government coordination who would supervise all ministries with an added portfolio of interior ministry.

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SENIOR CABINET SECRETARY

The senior cabinet secretary – a position equivalent to that of the prime minister in the grand coalition government – will be deputised by the remaining two principals with one in charge of public service and infrastructure and the other to head the productive and economic sectors.

The Constitution does not provide for the position of the premier, hence the decision to create the new, immensely powerful post.

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The principals agreed that in forming the government, the president will do so in consultation with his four co-principals but he would cede some of his powers of running government to the senior cabinet secretary.

From interviews with multiple sources close to the leaders, it became clear that Mr Musyoka was almost certain to clinch one of the top two slots, the presidential candidate or the running mate, because of the need to avoid an all-Western Kenya ticket. He is the only one from the Eastern part of the country.

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