, NAIROBI, Kenya Jan 6 – Small parties in the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) have rejected joint nominations announced on Saturday by the alliance management team.
Speaking on behalf of the eight parties Chama Cha Uzalendo (CCU) leader and Kithiani MP Wavinya Ndeti said that their parties will conduct own nominations but will support candidature of Raila-Kalonzo ticket.
“If they want us to walk out from the alliance, they should forget and from today we will deal directly with the Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka not the management team,” Wavinya added.
The Independent Party leader Kalembe Ndile and his Peoples Democratic Party counterpart Stephen Nyarangi argued that they were not consulted and urged the coalition management team to uphold an earlier agreement that each party in the alliance should have its own candidates in the nominations after which the winner would get the loser’s backing.
“We were confronted with a document purporting to agree on the mode of conducting joint nominations yet as parties we had agreed to join the alliance on condition that our right to field candidates is upheld,” Nyarangi said.
He added; “We want to tell our partners that we have not and we shall not cede our rights to nominate candidates but we shall support our presidential candidate Raila Odinga and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka.”
The small parties’ fears emanate from the fact that the CORD nominations are slated on January 17, just a day to the deadline on parties to conduct primaries; with these parties feeling this is a ploy to lock them out if they lose nominations.
The former Kibwezi MP accused some leaders in the alliance who feared competition at the grassroots of being behind the move
“Some people have preferred candidates and thus will want to hide behind joint nominations to lock out their rivals,” Kalembe said.
Wavinya and Foreign Affairs Assistant Minister Richard Onyonka (Kitutu Chache MP) who were denied Wiper and ODM ticket in Kathiani and Kitutu Chache seats respectively in 2007 but went ahead to win after moving to small parties – CCU and PDP.
The leaders said that the joint nomination would have a serious backlash in some parts of the country which may affect the coalition’s popularity.
The Joint Election Board had announced that the CORD affiliate parties will conduct joint nomination exercise on Thursday next week for all elective posts in the next General Election.
The parties include Maina Njenga’s Mkenya Solidarity Movement, People’s Democratic Party, Wavinya’s Chama Cha Uzalendo (CCU), Kenya Social Congress (KSC), KADDU Asili, Mungano Party and United Democratic Movement (UDM)
Parties affiliated to the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy will conduct joint nominations on January 17 that will be overseen by a board appointed by the alliance’s partners.
The nominations will be conducted across the country and participating candidates sponsored by the parties forming the coalition will face-off in the contest expected to be fierce especially in areas considered CORD’s strongholds.