NASA principals in three-day retreat to decide flag bearer

NASA Co-Principals Hon. Kalonzo Musyoka and Hon. Musalia Mudavadi when they held a consultative Meeting at Kalonzo's offices in Lavington. (PICTURE BY DENNIS KAVISU)

The four principals of the National Super Alliance (NASA), Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang'ula will be meeting in a make-or-break three-day retreat.

The meeting is expected to culminate in the final decision of who among them will be the presidential candidate to face President Uhuru Kenyatta in the August polls.

The retreat set to be held in Kilifi will end on Wednesday against the backdrop of pressure for NASA to identify its flagbearer for the August election.

Nomination deadlines

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission expects parties to present nomination papers for their presidential candidates on May 28, putting more pressure on the Opposition camp to complete talks on their line-up.

Mr Wetang'ula last Thursday urged his co-principals to ensure the outcome of the meeting does not disenfranchise a section of the Opposition supporters.

"The outcome of the retreat we are going for should not disappoint our people. It should be a win-win for everybody so that we move as a united front," said Wetang'ula.

The leaders will be basing their deliberations on a report by a five-member technical committee, headed by Dan Ameyo and David Ndii, which was tasked with considering various options of picking a presidential candidate.

The team handed in its report to the 12-member National Coordinating Committee (NCC) that has three representatives each from ODM, Wiper, Ford Kenya and Amani National Congress.

NCC was expected to submit the report to the principals, who have the final call on the alliance's presidential candidate and running mate.

It is understood that the two organs have concluded their work on the draft report leaning towards a Raila-Kalonzo ticket.

In the report that leaked, NCC favoured retention of the 2013 Raila-Kalonzo ticket. Mr Mudavadi, who is a new entrant in the Opposition camp, has been tipped for "Chief Minister" post, while Senator Wetang'ula will be considered for Senate Speaker.

Although ODM Secretary Agnes Zani had confirmed that the leaked report was genuine, it was met with fury by Kalonzo and Mudavadi's supporters.

Kalonzo and Mudavadi last week demanded that ODM withdraws the statement alluding to a Raila-Kalonzo ticket.

All the four leaders have been separately drumming support for their candidature, making the process of picking the flagbearer a delicate one.

Allies of Kalonzo want Raila to back their party leader, citing the 2013 memorandum of understanding that envisioned the latter supporting the former vice president in the August 2017 polls.

National Assembly Minority Leader Francis Nyenze has since threatened that Wiper Party would bolt out of the coalition if Kalonzo is not named the flagbearer.