In addition, a 2010-2017 TNA strategy paper recently leaked to the media has ruffled feathers in the alliance with its unflattering national leadership profiles. This even as various G7 parties struggle with internal friction related to nominations and support for parliamentary and civic positions. Some of this friction is playing out in the Kajiado North, Kangema, and Ndhiwa by-elections and could complicate further the search for unity and a joint platform in the alliance.
Worst hit is TNA, which faces competition from allied parties in Monday by-elections and outright rebellion in the PNU coalition over its 2013 strategy. At least four parties have threatened to deny Uhuru their endorsement of his presidential bid. The Party of National Unity, Grand National Unity, Democratic Party of Kenya, and the Alliance Party of Kenya are unhappy with what they describe as TNA’s “arrogance” in dealing with them. The party insists it will not entertain anyone wishing to ride on Uhuru’s coattails.
Multiple sources in the G7 say Uhuru’s approach to the Mt Kenya vote fits with the broader plan to have presidential hopefuls rally support in their regions and elsewhere ahead of talks on a possible coalition. The presumption is that the leader with broadest national appeal has the best chances, while anyone unable to unite their political backyard will be fighting an uphill battle.
“Each one of them must show what they are bringing to the table,” said one source that did not want to be named. “If you are not seen to be fully in charge of your block, then your negotiating position is weakened.”
The technical team working on the coalition deal was set up during a breakfast meeting at the Norfolk Hotel early last month attended by Uhuru, Wamalwa, Tuju, Mohammed Affey (representing Kalonzo), and Kiraitu Murungi.
A day earlier, Uhuru appeared to secure the support of PNU, APK, and GNU in his bid for president. That deal, however, appears to have since collapsed.
G7 leaders and their allies have about three months to get their act together if they want to present a pre-election coalition in time for the March 4 elections.
The Elections Act requires parties to submit their nomination rules to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) mid next month. Those intending to craft a pre-election deal have until December 3 to do so.
The Political Parties Act requires the agreement to be deposited with the Registrar of Political Parties at least three months before the General Election.