8 January 2013

Kenya: Cord Grip On Joint Nominations Loosened

Nairobi — Political parties affiliated to the Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD) will conduct separate nominations following concerns by small parties affiliated to the grouping.

According to the chairman of the coalition's Joint Elections Board Franklin Bett, talks are in progress to map out areas mostly urban that will have joint nominations.

Bett said: "In view of the wishes of the membership of the CORD alliance, it has become necessary to listen to the membership; our principals have consulted and agreed that each party will do its nominations. They will still consult to outline areas that will have joint nominations particularly Nairobi."

Parties affiliated to CORD had protested the decision on joint nominations announced by the CORD Joint Elections Board on Saturday.

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

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

On Monday, Ford Kenya also rejected joint nominations saying that it would jeopardise its desire to field candidates in areas where it had a strong presence.

Bett who spoke to journalists at Orange House said that ODM is ready for the nominations in all the counties and was set to train its poll officials starting Thursday this week.

He said that the party has already made arrangements for ballot papers and it is also seeking that polling stations - most of which will be schools - are freed for the exercise.

"We have prepared all the necessary materials, we will train our returning officers and we will commission them into the field to recruit presiding officers," he said saying that the party had already identified the polling stations that will be used.

He insisted that the party has already informed security agencies to provide security during the exercise to be undertaken on Thursday next week saying that letters were already sent to the relevant offices.

He says that the party was already listing names of people who will sit on the dispute resolution tribunals in the counties and that the party's National Executive Council is expected to formally endorse the names later this week.

"We want to solve much of the disputes as soon as possible at the county level," said the Roads Minister.

Meanwhile Prime Minister Raila Odinga has assured residents of Marsabit and Wajir Counties that the CORD government will enhance infrastructural development to open up the counties if elected.

He says the establishment of meat and leather industry in the county is top on his agenda as well as the construction of roads linking Marsabit, Wajir, Moyale to ensure that unexploited resources were harnessed to improve the quality of life in the area.

Odinga says that only development will guarantee peace in the area that is prone to internal conflict and lately the by the Al Shabaab operatives.

He told defectors at the Orange House that the coalition was determined to put in practice the one third gender ratio after the 10th Parliament apparently failed to enact the legislations to anchor the constitutional requirement.

"We want to empower the women and put them in the frontline to ensure that the one third gender rule was in practice within the next two years; we have 56 days to the elections and already we are headed for victory," Odinga said insisting that the coalition had the vision and energy to institute proper reforms.

The PM was receiving defectors from Marsabit County, led by North Horr MP Chachu Ganya and Wajir West MP Adan Keynan with his delegation from Wajir County.

Keynan says in joining ODM he was hopeful that the party will implement devolution that they had for long fought for.

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