Friday, November 16, 2012

G7 Alliance leaders now reach out to Kalonzo and Mudavadi

Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta (left) and Eldoret North MP William Ruto during a rally at Nairagie Enkare, Narok County, On November 15, 2012. Photo/CORRESPONDENT

Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta (left) and Eldoret North MP William Ruto during a rally at Nairagie Enkare, Narok County, On November 15, 2012. Photo/CORRESPONDENT  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By BERNARD NAMUNANE [email protected]

The G7 Alliance has renewed efforts to bring on board Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka and Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi ahead of the December 4 deadline for registering pre-election coalitions.

Eldoret North MP William Ruto of the United Republican Party (URP) on Wednesday night met Mr Musyoka (Wiper Democratic Party) at his Karen residence for four hours to discuss working together. (READ: Ruto will lose in G7, says Kalonzo)

A meeting scheduled between Deputy PM Uhuru Kenyatta of The National Alliance (TNA) and Mr Mudavadi of the United Democratic Forum (UDF) failed to take place after the former was held up in Gatundu. The meeting has since been moved to next week.

On Thursday, Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto appeared to confirm talks with Mr Musyoka and Mr Mudavadi when they said their aim was to unite all Kenyans.

“Contrary to what our detractors are saying, TNA and URP will work with other parties to unite Kenya,” said Mr Kenyatta.

URP spokesman Aden Duale and Ikolomani MP Boni Khalwale (UDF) confirmed the meetings.

“It is true that the URP presidential candidate held a meeting with the Vice-President in Karen. They actually met for four hours to explore ways of working together in a coalition,” said Mr Duale on phone from Narok where URP was holding a campaign rally.

Dr Khalwale said Mr Mudavadi was open to talks with parties pursuing a national agenda.

“We have said that our intention is to go beyond communities and build a national coalition. This is why we have allowed our presidential aspirant to talk to his colleagues in an effort to attain that goal,” he said.

The decision to approach Mr Musyoka and Mr Mudavadi comes a day after it was revealed that the planned coalition between Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto had hit a wall over the sharing of Cabinet slots.

On Thursday, Mr Duale said URP was not in a hurry to sign a coalition deal with Mr Kenyatta, Mr Eugene Wamalwa of New Ford Kenya, Mrs Charity Ngilu of Narc and Mvita MP Najib Balala of the Republican Congress Party under the G7 Alliance.

The party’s aim, he said, was to come up with a broad national coalition that can win the elections by garnering 70 per cent of the vote in the first round.

“URP is not going to be rushed to sign a coalition agreement. We are not in a hurry at all. We want to build a coalition which unites all Kenyans and that is why Mr Ruto met the Vice-President. He is also reaching out to the UDF presidential candidate (Mr Mudavadi),” he said.

Mr Musyoka quit the G7 Alliance after he was offered a lesser position, believed to be the Majority Leader in Parliament, by Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto. He has since held talks with Mr Mudavadi, who has not been a member of the alliance, for a possible coalition. The UDF flag-bearer has not ruled out talks with G7 Alliance leaders.

Even as he sought to build a coalition, Mr Mudavadi declared that he will not give up his presidential bid.

“In UDF there is no compromise on his presidential candidature. We can negotiate anything else, but the position of presidential candidate is not negotiable,” he told supporters at Kabula in Bumula Constituency.

He said it was embarrassing that leaders from the province were being given junior positions in alliances.

“There are those negotiating themselves out of a job, I am negotiating myself into the job”, he said.

In Nairobi, Cabinet ministers Moses Wetang’ula (Ford Kenya), Fred Gumo (ODM), and MPs Cyrus Jirongo ( Federal Party of Kenya) and Chris Okemo (ODM) met at Sankara Hotel in a bid to unite Luhya leaders behind one presidential aspirant.

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