NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 4 – Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi was on Friday formally endorsed to vie for the presidency under the United Democratic Forum (UDF), after weeks of uncertainty following his abrupt exit from the Jubilee Alliance.
Mudavadi was endorsed at a National Delegate’s Conference (NDC) held at the Bomas of Kenya also attended by officials from the New Ford Kenya, Kanu and 11 affiliate parties.
Accepting his endorsement, Mudavadi stated that if elected president he would have a seven-point agenda which would include addressing insecurity, unemployment and economic growth.
“In the 2007 nominations I stood on the platform of dignified lives for Kenyans. I spelt out an eight-point agenda then. Today, I have reduced it to a seven-point agenda because one of them – a new constitution – is in place. What remains is full implementation. I will not reform it; I will implement it,” Mudavadi told the delegates.
Over 2,800 delegates from across the country attended the NDC and unanimously endorsed Mudavadi after New Ford Kenya party leader Eugene Wamalwa declared that he had dropped his presidential bid and would instead support Mudavadi.
Wamalwa said he made the decision to put off his ambition until 2017 because he believes Mudavadi is capable of making it to the top during the March 4, 2013 General Election.
“Indeed, those who have said it will be a two horse race, are damn wrong, today we have come here to seal the bond of a new agreement signed by Pambazuka and UDF as one team. And we shall field one presidential candidate in the name of Musalia Mudavadi,” he said.
Kanu Chairman Gideon Moi also expressed his support for Mudavadi saying “we shall use all resources available to us to ensure one choice makes it to State House.”
The NDC was the fifth to be held in recent weeks after the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), the Wiper Democratic Party, the Jubilee Coalition and the Restore and Build Kenya held theirs to pick respective presidential candidates.
Addressing the conference, Mudavadi also said that he would seek to unite the country if he succeeds President Kibaki as Kenya’s fourth president.
The presidential candidate said “I will offer sober, realistic and pragmatic leadership. My DNA does not have the virus to threaten revenge and discriminate against any Kenyan. I have the will and determination to create a collective and consultative government that represents all Kenyans.”
With Mudavadi having failed to name his running mate, speculations are rife that he is in talks with a former MP from Rift Valley to fill the post. The UDF candidate did however says those supporting his bid would be working under the Peace/Amani coalition.
Mudavadi disengaged formally from the Jubilee Alliance on Wednesday after his counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta declined to honour an earlier agreement to cede presidential ambitions in his favour.