Nasa to announce flagbearer week after Easter

Nasa to announce flag-bearer after Easter - Kalonzo Musyoka

What you need to know:

  • The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has scheduled the party primaries for Thursday and Friday.
  • ANC supporters are instead proposing that delegates drawn from ODM, ANC, Wiper and Ford-K should have the final say.

National Super Alliance (Nasa) leaders’ negotiations in Kilifi County on Sunday night skirted around the presidential flag-bearer, pushing the thorny issue in the opposition coalition to the week after the Easter holidays.

Instead the meeting, which had been expected to either record some progress or seal a deal on the presidential candidate, focused on how Nasa will protect its votes in the August 8 General Election, using the examples of other countries in Africa where the opposition has defeated the incumbent.

Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka said the meeting at Vipingo Ridge did not agree on a presidential candidate and urged followers across the country to give them a little more time to agree on the flag-bearer.

Other Nasa leaders eyeing the presidency are ODM leader Raila Odinga, Amani National Congress (ANC) chief Musalia Mudavadi and Ford-Kenya’s Moses Wetang’ula.

“We had a meeting with my colleagues at Vipingo but it was to look at the problems in Nasa and how to tackle them and how to send Jubilee home on August 8,” Mr Musyoka said. “Please be patient; these things need keen and sober consideration.”

STOP LEAKAGE
The former Vice-President spoke at a rally at Kanamai Majengo in Kilifi after opening a Wiper office.

Mr Musyoka said any of the four Nasa principals could carry the outfit’s flag in the August polls and that what was crucial was respect among each other as they are all equal.

Sources said the principals were in agreement that talks over the presidential candidate take place after political parties nominate their candidates for the elections.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has scheduled the party primaries for Thursday and Friday.

There was however caution that their allies should stop either leaking information from the meeting or speaking about their choice of candidate to avoid a fallout among supporters.

“There was an agreement that leakage of information about who is the presidential candidate should stop,” a source privy to the talks, which were said to have lasted beyond 2 am, said.

“There are certain areas which have already started feeling uncomfortable. We want a united Nasa to beat Jubilee.”

SUPPORTERS PROTEST
This was, perhaps, in response to unconfirmed reports that the coalition has already settled on Mr Odinga as the candidate with Mr Musyoka as his running mate.

Mr Mudavadi, the reports say, will become Chief Minister and Mr Wetang’ula the National Assembly Speaker if Nasa wins the election.

True to the Nasa bigwigs’ caution, ANC supporters in the former Western Province took to the streets in Kakamega Town, warning that they will quit the opposition if Mr Mudavadi was not picked as the candidate.

The officials and supporters drawn from Kakamega, Vihiga, Busia and Bungoma counties trashed reports saying they had no confidence in the report handed to the Nasa co-principals by members of the technical committee picked to identify the flag-bearer.

ANC supporters are instead proposing that delegates drawn from ODM, ANC, Wiper and Ford-K should have the final say in picking the flag-bearer.

Speaking in Kakamega, ANC officials led by western region co-ordinator David Malala said the parties should agree on an equal number of delegates who will be mandated to vote and decide the flag-bearer.

They said the time had come for Mr Odinga, Mr Musyoka and Mr Wetang’ula to back Mr Mudavadi since he enjoyed the support of communities from different parts of the country.

MUDAVADI CANDIDACY
The supporters later held a demonstration in support of Mr Mudavadi, saying the Luhya nation would not accept to be used as a ladder by other communities seeking the presidency.

“We are demanding respect from our brothers and sisters in Nasa since we have offered our son, whom we believe is the best bet for Nasa,” Mr Malala said.

They said the former Vice-President stood the best chance of defeating President Uhuru Kenyatta.

“We have no confidence in the report prepared by the National Co-ordinating Committee since some members appear to have been influenced to settle on a particular candidate and that is unacceptable,” he added.

They asked Mr Mudavadi to prepare to go it alone should he fail to clinch the Nasa ticket.

In Kilifi, Mr Musyoka reiterated that he was best suited to defeat Jubilee.

“If it is Kalonzo, even Uhuru and (Deputy President William) Ruto know that they will be at home by noon on August 8,” Mr Musyoka said, adding that at the Sunday night meeting, the Nasa top brigade developed measures to prevent rigging in the August ballot.

PREVENTING RIGGING
“We decided to have an election chairman, assisted by four executives, to man each one of the 45,000 polling stations,” he said, adding that this was a “fresh” item from the Vipingo talks.

“These five will have direct link and communication line to all the five principals,” he said.

He hailed the court’s decision to have all vote results announced in each polling station and urged supporters to take pictures and send them to Nasa headquarters on WhatsApp.

“This will stop vote theft like it happened in 2013,” said Mr Musyoka.

Reports by Bernard Namunane, Daniel Nyassy and Benson Amadala.

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