10 December 2012

Kenya: Ngilu Cuts Cord With Kalonzo, Raila

Narc party leader Charity Ngilu has de-camped to the Jubilee Alliance barely a week after her surprise appearance at the signing of the Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD) alliance of Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and Trade Minister Moses Wetangula.

During her meeting with local leaders in Makueni on Monday, the Water and Irrigation Minister announced that she will now battle it out with Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Musalia Mudavadi in the Jubilee Alliance presidential nominations slated for next Tuesday.

Ngilu's party was not part of the original deal signed by Kenyatta's The National Alliance, United Democratic Forum of Mudavadi and William Ruto's United Republican Party before the December 4 deadline, and it's not clear if she can take part in the party primaries.

Ngilu, who is the Kitui Central MP, had declared on Sunday she would use the next few days to consult her supporters in Makueni and Kitui before making a decision on her political future, but it appears she just needed a day to formally ditch CORD.

Her announcement came barely a week after her surprise appearance at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre where Odinga, Musyoka and Ford Kenya's Wetangula unveiled CORD.

On Monday, Ngilu hit out at the alliance, saying it is not genuine.

Her move now puts to rest uncertainty over which coalition she will work with, after dilly dallying over the past couple of days.

Ngilu's defection to the Jubilee Alliance follows complaints by her party members that Narc was listed among 'small' parties that form CORD and that she was not assured of any prominent role or position.

Under the CORD agreement, only ODM, Wiper and Ford-Kenya were listed in the documents deposited with the Registrar of Political Parties.

Sources say Ngilu opted out of CORD after it emerged that her party will have to forego its right to field candidates.

The agreement between Odinga, Musyoka and Wetangula gives ODM, Wiper and Ford Kenya parties exclusive rights to field candidates in their strongholds.

Political analysts have pointed out that Ngilu's return to Deputy Prime Minister Kenyatta's fold was expected as she seeks ways of remaining relevant in the emerging political realignments, especially after Odinga formed a pre-election pact with Musyoka whom she has been battling with for supremacy in Ukambani.

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