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Confusion grips Uhuru, Ruto alliance

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Updated Mon, December 17th 2012 at 00:00 GMT +3

TNA insists the nominations take place tomorrow at Kasarani while Mudavadi’s United Democratic Front still hopes consensus on who will be the candidate could still be struck at this late hour, making the joint National Delegates Conference unnecessary.

But even though UDF delegates spoken to reveal they were on the way to Nairobi for the conference, they still have the perception that the NDC would merely endorse the consensus candidate the three leaders will decide on. This will basically be between Uhuru and Mudavadi, because Ruto is already slated for running mate position.

Fresh signs of tensions in Jubilee began to show on Saturday night after the coalition postponed a rally they were supposed to hold in Murang’a indefinitely. The jubilee team had lined up three rallies; one, which was successfully held on Saturday in Kakamega, the cancelled one in Murang’a Sunday and another to be held in Kitui today.

It was after these rallies that the alliance was expected to announce the flag-bearer.   Sources indicated the Murang’a rally was called off to give room for more consultation and probably agreement on the best procedure for nominating the presidential candidate so as to forestall a break-up.

By last evening, jubilee had not come out clearly to explain the process of nominating their candidate with TNA insisting it will be through secret ballot at Kasarani while UDF insisted the three principals would determine the criteria.

The technical team meeting in Lavington included URP spokesman Aden Dualle and Kipchumba Murkomen who is also from Ruto’s party, while UDF was represented by Dan Ameyo and Osman Hassan who is the party chairman. Johnson Sakaja and Jasper Mbiuki represented TNA.

Housing minister Soita Shitanda, who is on Mudavadi’s side confirmed a flurry of meetings had taken place since Saturday and the whole of Sunday to agree in principle on some issues. “All that may change depending on what the three principals agree. The meetings are currently going on,” Shitanda said when asked whether the NDC to nominate the team’s flag bearer was still on.

The minister revealed it was only the leaders who would come out and announce the criteria of nominating the joint candidate.

However, TNA accused Mudavadi of seeking the jubilee ticket through the boardroom instead of a delegates’ convention. MPs allied to Uhuru have vowed to oppose any attempt to arrive at candidate through consensus. “We want our candidate to be elected in an open and transparent process through secret ballot so that he can be owned by three parties,” Nithi MP Kareke Mbiuki declared.

Mbiuki a close ally of Uhuru insisted TNA and URP delegates would converge at Kasarani this morning to elect their flag bearer with or without Mudavadi. He said this before the change in date was communicated setting the delegates meeting for Tuesday (tomorrow).

“All delegates should be seated by 8am and there is only one agenda of nominating the presidential candidate. We expect to finish the exercise by 5pm,” said TNA Director of Communications Machel Waikenda.

“The meet-the-people tour was called off in Murang’a to help the TNA, UDF and URP leaderships effectively prepare for the nominations which will lead to picking of the presidential candidate scheduled for Tuesday,” said Cabinet Minister Jamleck Kamau.

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