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Politicians scramble for few East African Legislative Assembly seats

Two weeks to the deadline for Kenya to elect its representative to the regional parliament, lobbying for the available seats has reached a crescendo.

The election of the nine people who will represent Kenya in the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) is set for May 16.

The time coincides with the period of high political campaigns and deal making ahead of the August 8 General Election.

The Nation has learnt from reliable sources that 15 people have applied for ODM’s three slots in EALA.

Among the applicants is Silas Jakakimba, an aide of National Super Alliance (Nasa) presidential candidate Raila Odinga, educationist Prof Chacha Nyaigotti-Chacha and Jotham Nyukuri, who chaired the task force that was formed to investigate the 2014 botched ODM elections.

THE APPLICANTS

Other applicants include Ms Mumbi Ng’aru and Nancy Abisai, both of whom are seeking a second term as Kenya’s representatives to EALA.

The 15 are understood to be lobbying for the only remaining seat after ODM’s Central Management Committee chaired by Mr Odinga on March 30 decided to re-appoint Ms Judy Pareno representing Rift Valley region and Coast region’s Abubakar Zein.

The seat that is not yet filled was previously occupied by Joseph Kiangoi who has since decamped to the Jubilee Party and is an aspirant for the Nyamira Senate seat.  

“It is highly expected the remaining slot will go to Nyanza though western region is also not off the table,” a source familiar with the lobbying within ODM said.

WIPER TICKET

Apparently, after Mr Odinga was given the mantle to fly the National Super Alliance fly at the General Election, principals Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula have been pushing for the remaining slot to go to either them for having shelved their presidential ambitions in favour of the ODM leader.

Within the Wiper Democratic Movement (WDM), former Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka will have to get another person to take over from Peter Mathuki, who is now Wavinya Ndeti’s running mate for the Machakos governor’s seat.

Nominated MP Judith Sijeny has been mentioned as a probable replacement.

However, the nominated MP is considering vying for the Lang’ata parliamentary seat on a Wiper ticket.

TIGHT-LIPPED

The Jubilee Party, which is entitled to five seats – three for the defunct TNA and two for URP – is still tight-lipped on the possible candidates for EALA.

However, when President Uhuru Kenyatta toured the Jubilee Party headquarters on Thursday, he promised the losers in the party primaries that they will not be forgotten.

“We will accommodate everybody and that is what we are telling even losers; support those who have won. This is your government.

This is your party and we will march to deliver change and transformation to our country,” he said.

Going by the President’s pledge, EALA could thus provide some losing Jubilee Party aspirants with a soft landing.

Nominations aside, August 8 will be a steep climb for many

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