13 December 2012

Kenya: CORD Candidate to Be Named On December 22

Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka are expected to announce who between them will be the Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD) presidential candidate during a major rally at Nairobi's Uhuru Park on December 22.

Unlike the Jubilee Alliance where Deputy Prime Ministers Uhuru Kenyatta and Musalia Mudavadi are to set go through nomination by party members, the CORD presidential candidate will be decided through consensus between Odinga and Musyoka.

"It's going to be a very crucial rally at which we shall make a major announcement to our members and to the country," the Prime Minister said on Thursday. "The rally is very important," Musyoka reiterated, "because that is when we will decide other than wishing you all a Merry Christmas."

The two leaders made the announcement outside the Prime Minister's office following a closed-door meeting that included various members of their parties such as Kangundo MP Johnson Muthama.

Muthama was a strong proponent of the formation of an alliance between the two leaders even when Musyoka was in talks with members of the then G7 alliance that included Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto.

Also present at Thursday's meeting were Public Service Minister and Orange Democratic Movement member Dalmas Otieno together with Mwingi South MP David Musila.

Odinga and Musyoka again pleaded with those Kenyans yet to register as voters to ensure they do before the Tuesday deadline with the vice president adding that barring a Motion in Parliament, there would be no extension.

The IEBC had planned to register 18 million voters within the month-long registration but has only just reached the 10 million mark with five days left to the conclusion of the exercise.

The Prime Minister is confident the number will rise beginning Friday, once President Mwai Kibaki signs into law the Elections Act (Amendment) Bill 2012 that allows those with ID waiting cards to register as voters.

"I'm told that the president is going to sign the amendment to the elections law to enable those people who have waiting cards to register as voters," Odinga pledged.

The amendment was passed in Parliament last week following a proposal by Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo that Kenyans be allowed to vote using ID waiting cards and was revised by Attorney General Githu Muigai to limit their use strictly to registration and not voting due to fraud concerns before it was presented to the president for assent.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Chairman Isaack Hassan is on record as saying his commission will not allow the use of waiting cards for registration until the amendment is signed into law by the president.

Lawmakers Ferdinand Waititu (Embakasi) and Gidion Mbuvi (Makadara) also moved to court to petition for the use of waiting cards in the registration of voters saying up to six million youths would be locked out of the exercise.

The registrar of persons says the number cannot be as high possibly adding that only 400,000 identification cards remain uncollected nationwide.

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