Monday, October 1, 2012

PNU to join TNA in party nominations

PNU acting chairman Gideon Konchellah addresses the press at Kihoya ACK church in Kangema last month. Photo/SAMUEL KARANJA

PNU acting chairman Gideon Konchellah addresses the press at Kihoya ACK church in Kangema last month. Photo/SAMUEL KARANJA  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By OLIVER MATHENGE [email protected]

The Party of National Unity (PNU) will not field candidates in next year’s General Election but will instead participate in Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta’s The National Alliance (TNA) nomination process.

PNU became the first party that is allied to Mr Kenyatta to heed to his call of all parties supporting his presidential bid to come under a single umbrella. Read (Uhuru’s TNA has highest number of listed members)

At an aspirants’ forum in Nairobi, Mr Kenyatta assured all those who want to work with TNA that there will be “free, fair and transparent” nominations.

After the meeting, the party’s management committee also said that the party will not field a presidential candidate and will instead support the TNA presidential nominee.

The committee said that they approved a pre-election coalition agreement that they will use to work with TNA and participate in its nominations.

“The salient points of this agreement will be to achieve electoral victory in the coming 2013 elections for all elective positions countrywide. PNU will therefore not field individual candidates for any elective position in the upcoming elections, other than through the coalition framework,” acting chairman Gideon Konchellah said at the party offices.

He added that under the coalition agreement, the PNU officials will work with their counterparts to ensure that the rules and procedures for the nominations are “strictly adhered to and followed.”

Speaking at the aspirants meeting in Nairobi, Mr Kenyatta said that no individual owns TNA and he was determined to make the party the most democratic in the country.

“Be assured that TNA has no favourites in any particular position. This is a party owned by Kenyans and everyone will be involved in a free, fair and transparent nomination,” Mr Kenyatta said.

He was accompanied by ODM nominated MP Rachel Shebesh and Makadara MP Gidion Mbuvi alias Mike ‘Sonko’.

The two urged the aspirants to not only jostle for the party’s ticket but ensure that they support Mr Kenyatta and TNA to the end.

“When you say that you are going to support TNA, no one should later say that they will not continue if they fail to get a ticket, as long as the nominations are free and fair. We have to believe in the party’s leadership and that is why I can say that I believe in Uhuru Kenyatta,” Ms Shebesh said.

The move by PNU will come as a major boost for Mr Kenyatta who has said he will be contesting the presidency on a TNA ticket.

He has been urging other parties including PNU, Assistant Minister Mwaingi Kiujuiri’s GNU and Energy Minister Kiraitu Murungi’s APK to join up with TNA instead of fielding candidates separately.

This has been met with resistance though it remains to be seen how PNU’s move will affect the decision by GNU and APK to go it alone.

Bolstered by the results of the latest wins in Kangema and Kajiado North, TNA has resolved to raid other parties to especially in its strongholds and take their best aspirants.

Some of the parties that have declared support for Mr Kenyatta fielded candidates in the by-elections but were beaten by large margins by the TNA candidates.

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