SIASA 2017-JOHO AT GARSEN; ODM Deputy Leader Hassan Joho(middle), flanked by Taita Taveta County Governor John Mruttu and Kilifi Senator Stewart Madzayo (right) joins dancers before addressing the locals at Garsen grounds in Tana River County. This was during his organized ODM/NASA Coast Counties Political rally. PHOTO: MAARUFU MOHAMED/STANDARD.
The National Super Alliance (NASA) has dropped one of its key options for picking a joint presidential ticket holder before the April 15 deadline.
Due to time constraints, the coalition technical committee has zeroed in on two options of identifying its presidential candidate.
The NASA committee, which held a meeting Monday, has developed a scheme that will see either the principals agreeing among themselves or constituting a select electoral college to name a flag bearer.
The electoral committee will be constituted by a select team of members from the four member parties that form NASA.
The decision comes after the technical committee earlier toyed with the idea of using the US-style primaries.
The committee, which met Monday, wants the principals – Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), Musalia Mudavadi (Amani National Congress), Raila Odinga (Orange Democratic Movement) and Moses Wetang’ula (Ford Kenya) to agree among themselves who should fly the NASA flag or, in the absence of this, the electoral college to be constituted to name the flag bearer.
The committee is headed by lawyer Dan Ameyo and comprises David Ndii (economist), Elisha Ongoya (lawyer), Adams Oloo (political scientist) and East African Legislative Assembly member Zein Abubakar as members.
According to inside sources, conducting US-style primaries would have been time-consuming, similar to carrying out a mini-election, and would require a lot of resources.
According to the elections law, presidential candidates have until April 15 to present their nomination papers to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama said one of the four principals would be named as NASA’s flag bearer at the end of this month.
Although the NASA National Coordination Committee (NCC) is supposed to name a presidential candidate after receiving recommendations from the technical team, an insider explained that the four principals have the mandate to decide who flies the coalition’s flag in the August 8 polls.
“The four can have a meeting even tomorrow and come out and tell Kenyans who among them is the presidential candidate and running mate. They have other leaders’ and supporters’ backing,” the source said.
Mr Muthama further said the NASA rally, which was slated to be held at Uhuru Park tomorrow (Wednesday), has been postponed to Friday.
“Raila is returning tonight (yesterday) from the US. We want to give him time to rest. We also realise that Friday is ideal because it will not interfere with our supporters’ work schedules,” Muthama explained.
The Friday rally has been planned to continue building the coalition’s unity and builds on the Kitengela gathering on Sunday, when the principals downplayed reports of disunity and vowed that none of them would vie independently.
During Monday’s meeting, the technical committee also deliberated over how the member parties would share the money from the political fund managed by the Registrar of Political Parties.
Under the Political Parties (Amendment) Bill 2015, a political party requires only five MPs and three senators to qualify for a share of the millions of shillings from the fund.
“We want the formula of sharing money agreed on and deposited with the Registrar of Political Parties to make it binding,” the source said. “This is because three of the other four parties will support the presidential flag bearer who at the end of the day will garner many votes, which might translate into his party getting more money.”
The committee is also putting together a NASA secretariat, which according to sources, is to be made up of technocrats.
“We have made it clear that no politician should be in the secretariat. We want professionals who are willing to work as they will be tasked with research and advising the principals on key election matters,” the source said.
The secretariat will be made up of members from the four parties.
In a show of unity, Mudavadi was accompanied by NCC members James Orengo (Siaya senator) and Sakwa Bunyasi (Nambale MP) at the burial of Kenya’s first Education minister, Joseph Otiende, in Vihiga County on Saturday.