By Stephen Makabila and Kepher Otieno
*Whether pre-election coalitions can or should have candidates from two parties on a joint ticket, and
*Whether pre-election deal promises by the presidential candidate not to run in 2017 have any legal or political value.
Close allies are portraying the Prime Minister as content with being a one-term president. But the challenge of persuading Raila’s rivals this is not a campaign ruse intended to raise the ODM leader’s fortunes is immense. And even if the matter of political honesty were overcome, there are apparently huge legal hurdles concerning such a political union.
The Registrar of Political Parties Lucy Ndung’u says a presidential candidate can only nominate a running mate from among his party members. But politicians are nursing the idea that a pre-election pact could allow leaders from different parties to run for president and deputy president together. Ndung’u added running mates should be named at least 45 days to the General Election.
The ‘ Raila-will-be-a-one-term-president’ carrot has previously been dangled before Deputy PM Musalia Mudavadi without success. ODM leaders had hoped to prevent Mudavadi’s challenge for ODM’s presidential ticket and eventual departure by promising to fall in behind him in 2017.
The Sabatia MP’s aide Kibisu Kabatesi claims the PM sent Luhya elders to make the offer. ODM now hopes to sell the idea to Deputy PM Uhuru Kenyatta or Eldoret North MP William Ruto.
Cabinet Ministers Dalmas Otieno, James Orengo, Henry Kosgey, and Finance Assistant Minister Oburu Odinga have made no secret that they are pushing for Raila to work with either Uhuru or Ruto.
Orengo and Otieno cite Raila’s age (67), arguing he would be 73 years at the time he completes the first term in 2017 if elected president.
“This means if any of them accepts to back Raila, who has indicated that he would go for one term, then their patience would pay off,” Orengo said.
But Raila has not stated he is seeking high office for a single term. He has avoided the issue even when nudged at public rallies by his allies.