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Shut up, CORD tells Jubilee over MoU on flagbearer for 2017 elections

By Luke Anami | April 15th 2016

CORD has insisted it was committed to unity following disagreements over the coalition's 2017 presidential flagbearer.

The Opposition grouping told those interpreting its memorandum of understanding on 2017 flagbearer to shut up.

Ford Kenya's Secretary General Simiyu Eseli, on behalf of the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) management team, at press conference in Nairobi also announced that the Opposition would hold a parallel rally this weekend in Nairobi's Laini Saba grounds in Kibra Constituency, to counter Jubilee's thanksgiving rally at Afraha's stadium tomorrow.

"The parties to the CORD coalition – Ford Kenya, Wiper and ODM – fully recognise the value of unity and are committed to doing everything possible to preserve that unity. There is no dissent on that point. CORD therefore remains united," Dr Simiyu, who was flanked by Siaya Senator James Orengo and his Machakos counterpart, Johnstone Muthama, said.

"We beg those praying for fallout to hold their horses and give God a break. Kenyans have more pressing things to ask from God," he said in a statement to the media.

He said media reports on disunity in the coalition and revelations of an existing MoU on the choice of its flagbearer were intended to cause disharmony in the coalition.

He said the document was a property of CORD and the coalition reserved the right to interpret it as it chose.

He went on: "We therefore reiterate what we said two days ago; that calls for endorsement by one or the other of the principals must end. They serve no useful purpose and only creates unnecessary tension and confusion."

He said CORD would not pick its candidate through endorsements.

Announcing the rally, Eseli invited Kenyans to attend.

"We wish to extend an invitation to all Kenyans to this weekend's rally in Nairobi at Laini Saba Grounds, Kibra on Saturday," he said.

The rally, he said, will mark the start of the coalition's push for justice for 2007/8 post-election violence victims and electoral reforms ahead of the 2017 polls.

"We need justice for the victims of the 2007-2008 election violence. We also need thorough reforms to our electoral infrastructure. That is the only way to end the cycle of violence," said Eseli.

CORD warned that any talk of reconciliation between communities would remain a hoax as long as the electoral systems that produce only discord with every election are not addressed.

"Kenya has been holding reconciliation talks after every election... Such exercises always end up being nothing when elections come. We want an end to that cycle and we shall begin the push proper this weekend," he said.

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