NASA technical team was last night due to present its recommendations on how to pick the Opposition flag bearer. PHOTO:COURTESY
NASA technical team was last night due to present its recommendations on how to pick the Opposition flag bearer.
The team was to make the recommendations to a larger 12-member coordinating team.
The Standard learnt that top on the recommendations was for the flag bearer be picked directly by supporters before the end of April.
Alternatively, the committee suggested that the 2013 team of Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka be given the ticket, as was the case in the last elections to face the Jubilee duo of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto.
It is understood that the team considered the belief by the Opposition that the CORD Raila-Kalonzo team had actually won the contested 2013 elections, and that with Amani leader Musalia Mudavadi now in the team, the coalition would deliver a decisive victory.
CORD petitioned the outcome of the elections, but the Supreme Court upheld the Jubilee victory. NASA also has on board Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula.
The technical committee, headed by lawyer Dan Ameyo, has held a series of meetings since the four principals signed the coalition agreement, with their main brief being to draft NASA’s nomination rules, modalities of picking the flag-bearer and a power sharing formula.
Yesterday, Tongaren MP Eseli Simiyu, a co-chairman of the co-ordinating committee, representing Ford Kenya, confirmed that they were scheduled to meet. “We will meet tonight (yesterday),” Dr Eseli said.
According to our sources, the team wants open deliberations to accommodate principals and other key leaders who will miss out on the presidency and deputy positions.
Apart from the current NASA principals, Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto’s name was also floated. Proponents of retention of the 2013 line-up contend that in the event of such a ticket, Kalonzo was expected to demand certain concessions from Raila as a condition for backing him.
Raila is in the US and is set to return next week. The Standard understands that if the technical committee’s recommendations are adopted, the coalition may name its candidate not later than April.
Raila is seen as the coalition’s best bet against Jubilee and that a NASA ticket that does not have Raila would be severely weakened by apathy even in Raila’s strongholds.
According to sources within the committee, the team has already drafted the nomination rules and deposited them with the Independent Boundaries and Electoral Commission (IEBC).
The coalition’s agreement had provisions on nominations including consensus, joint nominations or direct tickets.
But the four co-principals Raila (ODM), Kalonzo (Wiper), Mudavadi (Amani) and Wetang’ula (Ford Kenya) have since opposed joint nominations and resolved that each party does its own primaries.
The member parties have also indicated that they will field their candidates for all political seats save for the presidency. Now, the problem is with finding the coalition’s flag-bearer.
Kalonzo and Musalia are said to be of the idea that Raila cannot be the flag-bearer as he will not attract votes from Jubilee zones.
Kalonzo has insisted he should be the flag-bearer, pointing out that Raila has run thrice and lost. “This is my time. All Kenyans know that I am the best placed to send Jubilee government home,” Kalonzo said.