Cord clears Wetangu'la bid, agrees how to choose presidential candidate

Wednesday March 30 2016

Opposition leaders led by Mr Raila odinga (centre) address the media outside IEBC offices at the Anniversary Towers on February 16, 2016 where they had gone to urge the electoral commission to speed up verification of Okoa Kenya signatures. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Opposition leaders led by Mr Raila odinga (centre) address the media outside IEBC offices at the Anniversary Towers on February 16, 2016 where they had gone to urge the electoral commission to speed up verification of Okoa Kenya signatures. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By BENSON AMADALA
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The top Cord leadership Tuesday stepped in to contain the raging rivalry between Ford-Kenya and ODM over Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula’s plans to launch his presidential bid in Kakamega this weekend.

The leaders, meeting under Opposition leader Raila Odinga in Nairobi, agreed to support Mr Wetang’ula’s launch at the historic Muliro Gardens on Saturday.

They formed an inter-party committee of Senators James Orengo (ODM), Johnson Muthama (Wiper) and Simiyu Eseli (Ford-K) to be joint convenors and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya (ODM) as host.

“All Cord elected leaders, including MCAs, senators and governors, are invited,” Cord said in a statement.

KHALWALE CHALLENGE

Ford-K and ODM candidates are lining themselves to face each other in next year’s General Election.

Among them, Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale has said he will challenge Mr Oparanya for the governorship on a Ford-K ticket.

“Some form of a launch will be undertaken but it has to be made clear that the other two (Raila and Kalonzo) will be in the run for the Cord ticket,” one of the members who attended the meeting said.

It was also agreed that, at the Kakamega meeting, it will be made clear that there will be a mechanism that will be used by the coalition to settle on its presidential candidate.

“Just as we were in Machakos, a declaration will take place, but within the unity of the coalition,” said the source, adding that it was agreed that the coalition will convene all meetings, at which the aspirants will declare their presidential bids.

The Kakamega meeting will be used to launch various campaigns in the country in which the Cord coalition will assure its supporters that the Okoa Kenya vision is still “very much alive”.

The issues of disbanding the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) through a constitutional process, inclusivity, the ‘Pesa Mashinani’ constitutional amendment drive and security will be pitched afresh to the people, it was said.

The campaigns will still be used to warn against the use of security officers, the Judiciary and the IEBC to manipulate the election outcome, which were slowly finding their way in the electoral process.

Mr Orengo, Mr Eseli and Mr Muthama were tasked to handle any issues that may come up.