, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 5 – It is now emerging that Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka have not yet agreed who among them will be the presidential candidate in their newly formed CORD alliance.
Cabinet Minister Dalmas Otieno revealed on Wednesday that the two leaders will sit later and decide who to be at the top of their joint ticket.
Unlike Deputy Prime Ministers Uhuru Kenyatta and Musalia Mudavadi who will go through a nomination process to pick a flag bearer in their alliance, Otieno said Odinga and Musyoka will themselves decide who will run for president and require the coalition to provide the necessary support.
“Ours would be a process of consultation between the two of them and they will advise the coalition how they want to proceed. In the meantime they both have a duty to lead the coalition to success,” he said.
Otieno was among the team that midwifed the Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD), which brings together the Orange Democratic Movement, Wiper Democratic Movement and Ford Kenya among other smaller parties.
“After we concluded our negotiations and signed the CORD coalition a friend of mine asked me how I do these things; bringing all these hostile antagonistic groups together and they get value out of dialogue and out of talking,” he bragged on Wednesday morning.
The National Alliance led by Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto’s United Republican Party formed a coalition with Musalia Mudavadi’s United Democratic Forum on Tuesday evening.
The Vice President has gone on record several times denying ODM and WDM were in negotiations even as members of his party, most visibly and audibly Education Minister Mutula Kilonzo and Kangundo MP Johnson Muthama, advised Kalonzo that a coalition between the two was what his supporters wanted.
Over the weekend, Musyoka had said; “for anybody to suggest that I, Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka can be somebody’s deputy is misleading the Kenyan population. I am not saying it cannot happen but it surely has not happened.”
The statement the VP gave Tuesday however, following the signing of the coalition agreement indicates a change of heart and stance or it could have all simply been a game of smoke and mirrors.
“There is no need for leaders to harbour hatred against one another due to politics.”
It remains to be seen if the spirit of camaraderie will continue when one has to step down for the other. In the run up to the last General Election Kalonzo and Raila parted ways because both wanted to run for president and neither of them was willing to sacrifice their ambitions for the other.
Political parties have until January 18 to submit their final list of candidates to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.