The Baringo senator Gideon Moi-led Kanu has fronted Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka as its preferred running mate of Raila Odinga in the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition party ticket.
Senator Moi proposed Mr Musyoka as Kanu’s preferred candidate for the running mate position in a letter sent to the chairperson of the Azimio’s Deputy President Selection Panel.
“Kanu hereby proposes and submits the name of H.E Hon. Stephen Kalonzo as its preferred candidate for the position of Deputy President in the forthcoming general elections,” Senator Moi stated.
According to him, Mr Kalonzo fits the bill and is the most suitable individual to deputise Mr Odinga.
“It is our sincere hope that this panel will consider and find him (Kalonzo) appropriate for the position of Deputy President and consequently recommend his selection as such,” Senator Moi concluded.
The development comes immediately after the Deputy President Selection Panel asked affiliate parties to propose candidates instead of subjecting the candidates to interviews as earlier planned.
Initially, the vetting of people interested in the running mate position had been scheduled between May 4 and 10 but did not kick off on Wednesday.
“Constituent party members of the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya that wish to nominate any person for consideration as a candidate for the position of Deputy President to submit the name by April 5,” a statement by the panel’s boss Dr Noah Wekesa stated.
Demeaning to Kalonzo’s political clout
This u-turn came after a portion of Wiper leaders, including Mr Kalonzo, said they would not adhere to the interview saying it was demeaning to Kalonzo’s political clout.
“I will not attend the process. I find the entire thing demeaning to my person,’ the Wiper leader said.
Despite his reservations, Mr Kalonzo has limited options to run the show on his own as an independent presidential candidate being barred with the deadline lapsing on May 2.
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Leaving the Azimio coalition is an option but that would expose his party to legal scuffles with the coalition having agreed to a strict provision that locks in affiliate parties by requiring a three-month notice to quit before the August 9 polls.
After the notice, the coalition’s top organ, the council, which is chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta must again review the reasons for Wiper’s departure before the quitting is approved by the Registrar of Political Parties.
With the latest support from Kanu, which is one of the big affiliate parties in the Azimio coalition, Mr Kalonzo’s longing to be the Deputy President could soon be satiated should the panel agree with Kanu’s ideologies.
However, it will not be an easy pick with the restless mountain region strongly fronting Narc-Kenya party leader, Martha Karua and Agriculture Cabinet Secretary, Peter Munya, as their preferred candidates for the running mate position.