Uhuru allies settle on delegates system to pick Jubilee flagbearer

Some 25 MPs allied to The National Alliance (TNA) party Monday resolved to go the delegates way in nominating a presidential flagbearer for the Jubilee Alliance.

It took more than six hours of haggling at a Nairobi hotel before the decision announced by Garsen MP Danson Mungatana was delivered following the meeting which started at around 4pm and ended some minutes to 11pm.

The MPs, mostly drawn from central Kenya arrived in quick succession, with party leader Uhuru Kenyatta arriving shortly before 6pm, from a rally in Kitui.

Mr Kenyatta said the MPs had successfully concluded a TNA parliamentary group meeting that briefed the gathering on the current state of affairs.

“I want to inform you that the PG has met and had successful deliberations which marks the detailed start of deliberations,” he said.

He, however, left the technical aspects of what transpired at the meeting to Mr Mungatana.

The Garsen MP said the legislators had resolved to respect each other principals in the Alliance and had opted for the delegates system in nominating the flagbearer, saying it was the most democratic.

"We want to reiterate that for the nomination of the presidential flagbearer, the delegates system is the fairest and most democratic,” he stated.

He said although only 25 MPs attended the meeting the decision was binding to the 40 MPs allied to the TNA wing of the alliance.

The decision means that none of the two parties haggling for the presidential ticket, the United Democratic Forum (UDF) and the TNA were willing to cede ground on the most agreeable formula.

The disagreements between UDF, which is also pushing for its party leader deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi, to get the alliance’s ticket, and TNA are likely to widen as the former prefers a boardroom deal.

The rift threatens to crumble the nascent coalition and Mr Kenyatta hinted that talks were underway to reach a consensus and hold the alliance together ahead of the polls.

The divisions between UDF and TNA has seen two scheduled delegates conferences meetings postponed, the latest being Tuesday's, as the protagonists try to reach consensus on the most suitable formula.