National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has challenged Mt Kenya leaders to forge a united front and bargain with other coalitions as equals instead of begging for the running mate slot.
Mr Muturi hit out at a section of Central leaders who have been complaining that the newfound pact between Deputy President William Ruto and ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi could deny the Mt Kenya region the running mate slot under UDA.
"How timid can leaders be to go begging for the number two position as if this whole region cannot produce one leader?" he posed.
Muturi made the remarks during a meeting with grassroots leaders at a Limuru town hotel where they endorsed him as the flag bearer for Democratic Party.
Responding to questions by the media, the Speaker said he had no issue against the UDA-ANC pact, but advised Mt Kenya leaders to unite and stop subjecting themselves to plans made elsewhere.
"Their unity, UDA and ANC is their own business, let's organise our own unity in Mt Kenya and negotiate our future as one," said Muturi.
He announced that DP will hold the National Delegates Conference on February 21 where he would be endorsed as the presidential candidate.
Muturi said DP is open for talks with any political formation, but called for unity of Mt Kenya political parties.
He admitted that he skipped the ANC National Delegates Congress at Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi, on Sunday after he discovered that Mudavadi had not made full disclosure of his agenda with UDA.