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Revealed: How Nasa was to share power after 2017 election

Friday September 28 2018

NASA

National Super Alliance leaders, led by Mr Raila Odinga, hold a press conference at Sarova Panafric Hotel in Nairobi on March 22, 2018. According to an agreement reached by the leaders, the coalition will only stand dissolved if any three of the partners decided to leave. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

PATRICK LANG'AT
By PATRICK LANG'AT
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The agreement by the opposition National Super Alliance (Nasa) on the sharing of Cabinet and other government positions had they won the 2017 General Election can be revealed today.

The first 11 Cabinet slots were to be shared two each, but with Mr Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) allowed three at this first stage.

On these, the principals were given a free hand to name their own people to the 22-man Cabinet.

Despite being a public document, the agreement has remained a secret since it was received by the Registrar of Political Parties on April 27, 2017, with the constituent parties often disagreeing on what each of them say is contained in the document.

In the agreement seen by the Nation, ODM, which had produced the presidential candidate, was going to automatically also get the Finance, Defence, and Education dockets — some of Kenya’s most influential ministries.

MINISTRIES

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Mr Kalonzo Musyoka’s Wiper, besides getting the deputy president slot, was also entitled to the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Transport dockets.

The Amani National Congress (ANC) of Mr Musalia Mudavadi, who was to be the Premier Cabinet Secretary in charge of coordination of government, was given the Interior and Agriculture dockets.

Ford-Kenya, led by Moses Wetang’ula, was to get the Infrastructure and Energy dockets with the Bungoma senator being named deputy premier CS in charge of economic affairs.

Chama Cha Mashinani, led by former Bomet governor Isaac Ruto, and who has since bolted out of Nasa, was to be named deputy premier CS in charge of governance and social sector protection and was to man the Devolution and Health ministries.

REPRESENTATION

With the 11 Cabinet secretary slots having been shared out, Nasa says in its agreement that the other 11 slots to make it the constitutional maximum of 22 were to be shared out according to performance in the 2017 elections.

“Portfolios not allocated on the criteria set out above shall be allocated on electoral performance determined by the votes cast for each party as a percentage on the votes cast for the coalition candidates in all elections other than that of the president, and subject to a minimum of one, and a maximum of five portfolios,” the coalition agreement says.

Given the impressive performance by ODM in the polls, the Odinga-led party was going to be the biggest beneficiary of such an arrangement.

It has a total of 76 MPs — elected and nominated — in the National Assembly compared to Wiper party’s 23, ANC 14 and Ford-Kenya’s 13.

In the Senate, ODM is still the big brother with 20 senators, compared to three each for Wiper and ANC, with Mr Wetang’ula as the sole Ford-Kenya senator.

ODM also has 13 governors, with Wiper and Ford-Kenya boasting of two each.

APPOINTEES

The other positions that were to be shared, the agreement says in Article 8, were principal secretaries, state corporations, and diplomatic positions. Constitutional commissions were removed from the power-sharing table.

“Each coalition party will submit a list of eligible and qualified candidates for consideration for appointment. The list shall reflect the diversity of Kenya in terms of ethnicity, gender, and inclusivity,” Article 8 (3) of the agreement says. At the same time, the document has revealed that Mr Odinga’s ODM had agreed not to vie for the presidency in 2022.

“In the event of the renewal of the coalition agreement for a further term of five years, the coalition’s presidential candidate in the August 2017 elections shall not be eligible for nomination as a presidential candidate,” the coalition agreement says in Article 10 (a) marked as an addendum.

The presidency, under Mr Odinga and his deputy Mr Musyoka, would have had Mr Mudavadi as Interior head, and Foreign affairs, Defence, Finance, Public Service and East African Affairs, with governance and social security sector having the ministries of Devolution, Education, Health, Water, Agriculture, and Sport.

MEMBER STATUS

Under economic affairs, under Mr Wetang’ula as the deputy premier in charge of infrastructure, would have been Planning, Transport, Energy, Mining, Trade, Environment, Labour, and Land ministries.

Besides the executive appointments, Nasa was also to share out the legislative offices, and “leadership in the legislatures that the coalition is entitled to or eligible for” debunking the defence by ODM in removing Mr Wetang’ula as senate minority leader.

ODM had argued that the parliamentary slots, in case Nasa lost, were not to be shared out.

But, while it said it would share out the seats in Parliament, the deal, in an addendum, only mentioned those that accrue to the majority party and did not factor in the fact that they could lose the elections.

"Power-sharing will be based on founder member status, portfolio balance and equity, as well as performance,” the coalition says in its agreement, Article 10.

The coalition will only stand dissolved, Nasa said, if any three of the partners decided to leave.

They vowed to pursue the implementation of the Bomas Draft allowing an elected president and a deputy, with an appointed prime minister who would head the Cabinet.