Azimio team crafting rules for coalition’s nominations

Proponents of the Azimio la Umoja movement are crafting nomination rules for the anticipated coalition party to forestall a falling-out ahead of the August 9 General Election.

So far, more than 10 parties have pledged to back Azimio, ODM leader Raila Odinga’s political vehicle to State House, but have not agreed on the manner in which they will field candidates for other positions.

In 2017, the National Super Alliance (Nasa), on whose ticket Mr Odinga and Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka gunned for the top seat, was rocked by rivalries that saw the coalition lose many seats in its traditional strongholds.

Nairobi, Western and Gusii regions were the most affected, with Mr Odinga bagging the presidential votes and the coalition losing parliamentary seats.

Mr Odinga’s presidential campaign board yesterday revealed that it has formed a team that is formulating rules to govern nominations under the Azimio banner that all the parties under the outfit will have to adhere to.

The board’s chief executive, Elizabeth Meyo, said: “Our plan is to bring on board as many parties as possible. A team is in place working on modalities for coordinating that process. Another team is working on rules that will govern our nominations in Azimio. ”

 “We are very confident that we will attain a majority at all levels … The fifth President is promising fundamental reforms that will require numbers to pass his agenda. We will make it happen,” Ms Meyo added.

Board chairman and Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi said they were mulling deploying joint nominations in a number of instances.

 Some of Mr Odinga’s backers, however, feel that allowing individual parties to field candidates may cause challenges similar to those that Nasa encountered.

But having candidates only vie on the Azimio ticket could face opposition by individual parties as it is likely to be seen as killing their identities.

 ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna yesterday said the party has started conducting its own opinion polls to identify popular aspirants, which will help identify candidates to fly its flag.

 Democratic Action Party of Kenya Secretary-General Eseli Simiyu said the party is awaiting the signing of the coalition agreement with Azimio and will be guided by it. Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui of the Ubuntu Peoples’ Forum said the party will field candidates within the Azimio framework.

 Party of National Unity Secretary-General John Anunda said:  “We will enter into an agreement on who to put where because we are going to work together with Jubilee, ODM and other parties. For now we are preparing ourselves for the coalition deal.”

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