Opposition deal signals bruising internal competition

Opposition leaders Musalia Mudavadi, Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetang’ula. (Photo: Berverlyne Musili/Standard)

The National Super Alliance’s (NASA) coalition agreement has caused anxiety in the CORD fraternity as it opens doors for a bruising internal competition among aspirants seeking various seats. 

Just like Jubilee Party, formed by collapsing several outfits, the Opposition coalition is likely to run into similar headwinds as leaders fear being locked out in the joint primaries. 

The deal signed by Opposition leaders Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula could also see some aspirants forced to drop their bids, particularly in areas where NASA will use consensus to pick its candidates.

Aware of the pending dilemma, NASA’s National Coordinating Committee (NCC) is crafting a framework to be used to map the country before settling on the method of picking candidates in different regions.

In the deal, NASA has agreed to use pacts negotiated between parties in the coalition, consensus arrived at by local caucuses or through a joint primary by verified party members in picking its candidates.

“We listed the methods but we have not decided which one will be suitable in which area. Primaries are always problematic because they determines who will be on the ballot. So we cannot assume it will be smooth process,” said Eseli Simiyu, NCC member and Ford Kenya Secretary General.

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Dr Simiyu, Wiper Secretary General Hassan Omar and his Amani National Congress counterpart Geoffrey Osotsi yesterday said the 12-member committee has been tasked to develop nomination modalities by identifying which option would be more appropriate in which areas.

They will later brief the summit, which is made up of Raila, Kalonzo, Mudavadi and Wetang’ula.

“The coalition will endeavor to field a single candidate for each parliamentary, gubernatorial and county assembly seat, in accordance with the methods set,” reads the deal signed on Wednesday. But in special circumstances, NASA will allow multiple candidates if it deems such competition would not jeopardize its chances.

“The coalition may, in special circumstances, allow more candidates in its strongholds it is adjudged that such competition will not undermine support for the presidential candidate, does not jeopardize the NASA winning the particular seat,” it adds.

These nomination rules imply some aspirants, in areas the coalition risks losing seats in the event it fields multiple candidates, will be forced to forfeit their ambitions.

Mr Omar said Mombasa is one of the areas that will not be affected by multiple candidates.

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