By Moses Njagih
In what appears as a statement of defiance against the perceived intimidation the parties are suffering from TNA, the Alliance Party of Kenya (APK), Grand National Unity (GNU), and Democratic Party announced plans to forge a common front for the General Election.
The coalition talk comes in the wake of infighting between TNA-affiliated politicians and leaders of other parties in the region, notably Energy minister Kiraitu Murungi-led APK.
The launch of TNA by Uhuru as his political vehicle for the General Election has caused a rift among political players in the region, with a section of the DPM’s supporters calling on other parties to dissolve.
But in a statement sending out the signal the three parties were not ready to be intimidated by the new alliance, leaders from GNU, DP and APK, which was initially fronted by Kiraitu team as Uhuru’s party, met in a Nairobi hotel on Thursday to initiate talks on a coalition.
And though the leaders also welcomed TNA, and any other party to the talks on alliance building, they were categorical that such discussions must be held on the principle of equality and mutual respect.
In a statement that appeared more directed at TNA, the leaders said they would welcome other parties to the coalition talks, but would not be intimidated into dissolving their parties to join any other.
Key party officials held the meeting. They included Kiraitu, Mathira MP Ephraim Maina who heads the Central Kenya Parliamentary Group, and a host of MPs allied to APK. Assistant Minister Mwangi Kiunjuri and former Mathira MP Nderitu Gachagua represented GNU.
Former Ministers Chris Murungaru and Joseph Munyao represented DP at the Panafric Hotel talks.
Kiraitu was categorical that though they welcomed TNA into the coalition talks, members of Uhuru’s outfit must not approach the move as a senior partner. “ TNA is a political party just like ours. While we have no problems engaging them as well, these talks must be conducted on the basis of equality and mutual respect,’’ said Kiraitu.
“Nobody should come calling on other parties to dissolve and join TNA, because we must be viewed as equal partners and respected as registered political parties,” said Kiraitu.