17 December 2012

Kenya: Alliance Puts Off Nomination As Party Row Rages

The Jubilee Coalition has unveiled its line up for the March 4, 2013, general election. Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta was unveiled as the ... ( Resource: Kenya's Jubilee Unveils Election Lineup )

The Jubilee Alliance has yet again called off nomination to select a flag bearer, as The National Alliance and the United Democratic Forum jostle over whether to go ahead with the party primary or strike a boardroom deal.

The nomination was set for Monday, put off for Tuesday and again postponed indefinitely, as both parties dug in over what mode to adopt to pick the alliance's presidential candidate.

"The Jubilee coalition has by mutual agreement decided to postpone the delegates conference earlier slated for Tuesday, 18th December 2012 so as to allow for more time for the parties to agree on a method by which to pick the presidential flag bearer," a statement signed by Johnson Sakaja (TNA), Francis ole Kaparo (URP) and Hassan Osman (UDF) indicated.

Uhuru Kenyatta of TNA has faced increasing hostility from his backers after indications there was likelihood he would strike a boardroom deal to abandon his bid in favour of UDF's Musalia Mudavadi.

William Ruto's United Republican Party was also due to take part in the primary, in which each of the three parties was supposed to send 1,500 delegates.

It's understood UDF and TNA are driving a hard bargain with influential power brokers on both sides sticking to their hard-line positions.

Insiders say Kenyatta is under intense pressure to cede ground for Mudavadi due to the case he's facing at the International Criminal Court, but it's not clear if he is willing to take the gamble.

Mudavadi's camp argues it has an upper hand after forcing postponement of the nomination twice, but Kenyatta's men say he must face their leader in Kasarani.

On Monday, the alliance was set to hold a public rally in late entrant Charity Ngilu's Kitui backyard, but Mudavadi skipped the event.

Kenyatta and Ruto however attended the rally.

At the meeting, Kenyatta is understood to have asked Mudavadi to "gather courage" and meet him at Kasarani for the primary.

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