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Why NASA parties are split over joint nominations

Wiper Party Secretary General Senator Hassan Omar speaking to the press

Oparanya says some people have sensed defeat but Omar terms claim baseless fear-mongering, writes MOSES NYAMORI

Governor Wycliffe Oparanya: ODM Deputy Party Leader

My views are very clear that if we are coming together as a coalition we should have joint nominations. This will avoid having a president without a majority in both the Senate and National Assembly. It will also help us face Jubilee as a united front.

A joint exercise will give the opposition one candidate to face Jubilee, but some of our partners are reluctant about it.

Fears that our parties have never had fair nomination process should not be used to justice opposition to this good idea. Because if we have never had proper nominations why can’t we try it this time? Let’s try and improve on our processes instead of running parallel nominations.

These people need to ask themselves how joint nominations worked during Narc’s 2002.

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Look at it this way; if we decide to separately field our candidates they will still face each other at the polls. Why can’t we face at party primaries so that we back the most popular candidate at the tail end? They will still face these people they are avoiding.

My point is that if we are serious with this joint platform then we should have joint nominations across from the country save for some Jubilee strongholds like Central, which will not be competitive. In such places we can issue direct ticket.

Some of the people against joint process have sensed defeat. Why are others not complaining that the exercise would be rigged? Sometimes it doesn’t make sense. It looks like some people want to make the cake and eat it all.

But if we are serious with the coalition, it must be serious from the top to the grassroots. Otherwise if it is at the top only how do we fit in as grassroots leaders? It will mean we forget about the coalition at the grassroots and run our respective operations independently.

Senator Hassan Omar: Wiper Secretary General

For us as a party we will only agree for a joint process if there are compelling reasons that the Opposition is likely to lose if it fields multiple candidates. These reasons must be demonstrated because we are not prepared to accept some general statements in pushing for a joint nomination process.

As a party, we do acknowledge that we lost some parliamentary seat in Nairobi in 2013 as a consequence of each party running a candidate. But we will have to determine the circumstances in particular electoral areas before we can agree on running a joint platform.

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Another concern is that some partner parties have been accused of botched nomination processes. It is on these background that some candidates have decided to associate themselves with Wiper. This is because they believe there would be free and fair process in our party. So returning them back to the problem they were trying to avoid is to commit an act of betrayal to them.

When somebody has come to us to seek for fairness, we cannot betray them. In politics even if somebody is rich or poor, it is unfair to influence the outcome because it is like conning the voters.

For the Coast counties, even if two parties in the coalition field candidates separately the bottom line is that we will still win. It will not work in Jubilee’s advantage. It will also not affect the presidential outcome. Even if you look at the 2013 polls, it was never an issue because our constituent parties fielded candidates independently and it did not influence the outcome in favour of Jubilee.

The narrative that we will lose to Jubilee is a baseless fear-mongering by the incumbents who simply keen on status quo.

Again, NASA is more about the presidential candidate not these other seats. And if we were to have joint primaries why couldn’t we dissolve the parties? As at now all these parties are independent entities.

We must not bury our heads in the sand because some of these concerns being raised are real and that is why Jubilee is already having problems.

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