CORD is not in discord, Raila says they will solve internal problems

CORD is not in discord, Raila says they will solve internal problems

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After the three CORD principals snubbed the Kibra rally, many Kenyans thought all is not well in CORD.

Cord leader Raila Odinga after his European tour on Monday allayed fears of a split in the alliance, saying his fellow co-principals were mobilising support in readiness for the 2017 elections.

This comes amid growing discomfort within the coalition ranks that affiliate parties are seeking to zone off certain parts of the country as their turfs.

Mr Odinga, who spoke to the Nation by phone, said the issue of who would be the coalition’s presidential flagbearer would be resolved amicably.

“People need to understand that Cord is a coalition of parties, which have biased interests,” he said.

The ODM leader said a system would be put in place to pick the person who would face President Uhuru Kenyatta in the August 2017 General Election.

The former Prime Minister, who returned to the country on Sunday from a visit to France and the United Kingdom, spoke against the backdrop of a heated debate over Cord’s presidential candidate.

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Ford-Kenya’s Moses Wetang’ula have come out recently to say they are best placed to wrest the presidency from Mr Kenyatta.

Mr Musyoka’s allies fuelled the debate when they said that Mr Odinga and the former VP signed an MoU in December 2012, in which the ODM boss agreed to support his co-principal in the next elections.

Mr Wetang’ula, who was not part of the MoU, has declared that the 2013 deal would not stop his ambitions of flying the coalition’s flag.

Mr Odinga described the debate as a storm in a teacup.

“I know there are occasional calls to address the matter, but ideally, it should not cause anybody sleepless nights. It will be resolved through an open and transparent mechanism,” he said.

He explained that they agreed on the importance of every party drumming up support in parts of the country they have a strong appeal without creating an unhealthy competition.

Suna East MP Junet Mohammed said every party in the coalition has a right to popularise itself.

“All the campaigns are being done under the Cord umbrella. These are the internal mechanisms of democracy but all these are distinct parties with a following. The most import things is to maintain the unity of Cord,” he said.

However, a source within the coalition said the strategy of  parties strengthening their support base was causing worries.

“Some are locking up certain areas and this is creating a problem,” said the source, who cited the growing concern by ODM lawmakers in Busia who are against Mr Wetang’ula’s party.

He revealed that unlike in 2013 where affiliate parties fielded candidates against one another, the coalition leaders had agreed to allow certain parties take charge of their strongholds while holding competitive nominations in others.

“In some places, certain individuals will be given direct nomination to free them to fight bigger wars. Such people do not need to be tied down by nominations,” he said.

Meanwhile, some Ford-Kenya MPs yesterday asked Mr Odinga to support Mr Wetang’ula’s stab at the presidency in appreciation to the Luhya community for having rallied behind the ODM leader and his father, the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga.

 

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