7 January 2013

Kenya: Discord As Ford Party Rejects Join Coalition Primaries

Nairobi — Ford Kenya has now joined eight other parties in the Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD) in rejecting a bid to conduct joint nominations next Thursday, creating discord in the grouping.

Speaking at the party headquarters in Nairobi on Monday, Ford Kenya Secretary General Simiyu Eseli said the party, which is among the key coalition's partners, will not field candidates for joint nomination in areas where it had a strong presence.

Eseli however said that the party would participate in the process if it was conducted in urban and marginalised areas that are not its strongholds.

"The statement that was issued on joint nominations was not a blanket statement for everywhere in the country. It was supposed to apply to certain areas in the country," he asserted.

Chama Cha Uzalendo (CCU), The Independent Party, Peoples Democratic Party and five other parties on Sunday argued that joint nominations will lock out their candidates.

CCU leader Wavinya Ndeti on Sunday dismissed the move as a ploy that risked undermining CORD's popularity in some areas.

The parties however say that they will still support Prime Minister Raila Odinga's bid for the presidency with Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka as his running mate.

"If they want us to walk out from the alliance, they should forget and from today we will deal directly with the prime minister and vice president," she said.

CORD's management team however insists that all the coalition partners must jointly field their preferred candidates in each of the five categories to be chosen through secret ballot.

Through a statement sent to newsrooms on Monday, the alliance's co-chairmen Dalmas Otieno and David Musila announced that each successful candidate in the nominations would be issued with a certificate of nomination by his or her sponsoring partner party.

"For avoidance of doubt, the names of all candidates for each position shall appear in one common ballot paper clearly indicating the name and symbol of sponsoring partner party," the statement indicated.

Otieno and Musila said the partner parties had agreed to participate in joint nominations which will begin at 8am and close at 5pm on January 17.

The nominations shall be for the positions of Governor, Senator, Women Representatives, Member of the National Assembly and Member of the County Assembly in their respective member parties.

"Polling stations shall be published by the CORD elections board not later than seven (7) days before the nominations," the statement pointed out.

Roads Minister Franklin Bett, Sammy M. Mbova, Ezekiel Wafula, Everett Wasike, Judy Pareno, Roy M. Mutisya and Mary Muhuhu have at the same time been appointed to the CORD Elections Board.

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