Cord endorses PM Odinga for president, Kalonzo running mate

Cord alliance leaders comprising of Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and PM Raila Odinga wave to a jubilant crowd at Uhuru Park, Nairobi on December 22, 2012. Photo/BILLY MUTAI

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka on Saturday announced that he had stepped down in favour of Prime Minister Raila Odinga to be presidential candidate of the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord).

Amid jubilation by the crowd in attendance at Uhuru Park, Mr Musyoka said that in the interest of the nation, he would be PM Odinga's running mate.

Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang'ula said the decision to endorse PM Odinga was arrived at after lengthy negotiations.

Mr Wetang'ula said he had ambitions to be Kenya's president but only realised that the dream could only be realised through unity.

While addressing the crowd, PM Odinga asked Kenyans to support his presidential bid.

PM Odinga also urged UDF leader Musalia Mudavadi to join Cord.

He also applauded Mr Musyoka and Mr Wetang'ula for putting the interest of the nation ahead of their personal ambitions in supporting him.

"Kalonzo and Wetang'ula have shown that Kenya is more important than any individual," he said.

He also said that Cord will ensure that economy grows beyond five per cent from next year.

Earlier, Minister Raila Odinga told Kenyans to elect Cord into government saying the alliance will bring the desired change and redress development. Read (Cord to name election line-up at Uhuru Park)

Saying this is Kenya’s time, Mr Odinga asked Kenyans not to gamble with their future by electing people without reform credentials in office come the General Election.

He was speaking in his office when he received a delegation of grassroots leaders from Tharaka Nithi led by former MP for Tharaka Francis Kagwima who joined ODM.

PM Odinga for sober politicking in the run up to the elections, noting parties and candidates should differ on policies and not personalities.

“We have superior policies than our competitors, and this is what we should demonstrate in our campaigns to win over votes to our alliance,” he added.

Noting that the Cord alliance will seek to bring equality to all regions, Mr Odinga pledged to ensure the operationalisation of the equalization fund that will bring equitable development to the country.

He said, “We do not want to see the glaring differences in development that tend to cosign some regions to perpetual poverty yet others are wallowing in riches.”

He pointed out that a Cord government will strive to exploit the newly discovered oil in Turkana and other mineral resources around the country for the benefit of all Kenyans.