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Archive for August 22nd, 2007

Who will represent ODM in the presidential run?

Posted by African Press International on August 22, 2007

Story by BERNARD NAMUNANE
Publication Date: 8/22/2007

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) will pick its presidential candidate by secret ballot on September 1, though doubts persist over how the party will select its delegates.

Some of the leaders eyeing the ODM presidential ticket. They are from left: Mr Musalia Mudavadi, Mr Joe Nyaga, Mr Raila Odinga, Mr WIlliam Ruto and Mr Najib Balala. ODM will pick its flagbearer on September 1. Photo/FILE

As ODM leaders said on Tuesday that branch officials would automatically become delegates, their rival, Mr Kalonzo Musyoka, was claiming the same group as the bona fide representatives of his ODM Kenya Party.

And in an effort to raise funds for the ODM conference to be held at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, the presidential hopefuls, who had already paid a nomination fee of Sh1 million, will be required to cough up an additional Sh500,000.

Choice of delegates

Signs that the choice of delegates could become a thorny issue were evident as supporters of ODM presidential hopeful Musalia Mudavadi from Western Province insisted that only genuine delegates should participate in choosing the candidate to face President Kibaki in the December General Election.

The ODM caucus will be held only a day after one by the Musyoka-led ODM-K delegates conference, which will also select the partys presidential candidate. Twenty ODM officials from each of the 210 constituencies will form the electoral college that will elect the partys candidate.

However, it was not immediately clear how the party which the Raila Odinga group took over barely a week ago will manage to have officials in each constituency.

But to allay fears over this, the leaders announced that ODM-K branch officials would automatically move to the new party.

The delegates will also name a team to lead the opposition party into the elections.

The delicate arrangement was endorsed yesterday by the partys National Executive Council meeting at Orange House, Nairobi. The meeting also nearly put to an end hopes of re-uniting with Mwingi North MP Musyoka, who is now firmly in control of ODM-K.

Acclamation

ODM leaders were torn between adopting voting by acclamation, which was popularised by the former Kanu regime and the secret ballot during their special National Delegates Conference at Kasarani, Nairobi.

In the race for the ODM ticket are Langata MP Odinga, his Eldoret North counterpart, Mr William Ruto, Mvitas Najib Balala, Gachoka MP Joseph Nyaga and Mr Mudavadi.

Speaking after the NEC meeting, which was attended by four presidential aspirants, ODM Secretary-General Peter Anyang Nyongo said: This meeting has confirmed that the elections at Kasarani will be by secret ballot. Initially, there were suggestions that delegates decide the system to use on the floor of the venue.

Prof Nyongo allayed fears that they would use the acclamation method, a decision that had created discomfort among the presidential hopefuls.

The reports which have appeared in the media today (yesterday) are wrong. If anything, it was to be determined by the delegates but the NEC has moved to correct that wrong impression, he said.

Mr Odinga, Mr Ruto, Mr Mudavadi and Mr Balala, other NEC members and MPs allied to the party met to prepare for the delegates conference two days after a key meeting in Eldoret where key decisions were made after high-profile negotiations.

The negotiations on how ODM should pick a team that can win the elections involved elders from Rift Valley communities and their counterparts from Western Kenya.

Sources said it was at that meeting that the elders resolved to support the winner at Kasarani. They also bound the leaders from quitting the party after the presidential nominations.

They set up a technical team led by Emuhaya MP Kenneth Marende to work out a possible winning team, and it emerged that Mr Odinga was the favourite presidential candidate with Mr Mudavadi as prime minister and Mr Ruto as vice-president.

Luhya elders, it was said, felt that Mr Mudavadi, a former Sabatia MP, should take the premiers position because he had previously served as the VP under the then President Moi.

Sources at the ODM talks said it was resolved that a kind of team be picked alongside the presidential candidate to bind the victor into implementing a pre-election pact should the party and its candidate win the next General Election.

This, it was said, would ensure that losing presidential aspirants carry along their supporters to help ODM in the race against President Kibaki.

Mr Mudavadi reportedly pushed for the secret ballot and the collegiate system on the grounds that ODM should be seen to have gone through a democratic process of nominating its presidential candidate.

It would have looked like the old bad habits of Kanu, he argued, for the ODM flagbearer to be nominated by acclamation.

The issues of Cabinet posts and other key appointments will also be tackled by the Marende committee.

On the delegates to attend the Kasarani meeting, accreditation committees were charged with the task of drawing up lists of the officials.

Said Prof Nyongo: As a party, we have 20 officials per constituency and the accreditation committee will ensure that only bona fide members attend.

Following the acquisition of ODM from laywer Mugambi Imanyara, he said, they would not apply the 40:40:20 sharing formula that had been agreed upon between the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Kanu and Labour Party of Kenya (LPK).

The choice of delegates was one of the issues that led to the parting of ways between the Odinga camp and the Musyoka group with the latter accusing the former of employing tricks to win the presidential ticket.

Prof Nyongo said: ODM is one party and there is nothing like a sharing formula in the number of delegates.

The meeting also agreed that sitting MPs will contribute Sh100,000 towards the delegates conference while parliamentary aspirants will pay a minimum of Sh20,000.

Raise funds

Leaders of ODM will raise funds to foot the special national delegates conference through the means that have been proposed by the fund-raising committee, he said.

The NEC also dashed hopes of re-uniting with ODM-K, stating that their former colleague could only join them as an individual.

Mr Balala said: The reformed ship of ODM has left the dock and anybody who wants to come should do so as an individual.

Asked if they were closing the door on negotiations with Mr Musyoka, the Mvita MP said: There is no intention to hold talks. That is as far as the meeting has resolved.

But the Mwingi North MP said: Let us wait and see what happens after the nominations. We will see whether Raila will look back and want to talk or not. Those people talking now will have no role at that time.

Lifted and published by Korir, API*APN africanpress@chello.no tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525 source.Nation.ke

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CAR: China donates CFA700 million worth of computers

Posted by African Press International on August 22, 2007

Bangui (Central African Republic) China has donated 700 million CFA-franc worth of computers and office equipment to the Central African Republic (CAR), APA has learnt.

\”This donation proves the excellent diplomatic relations between China and the Central African Republic,\” Chinese ambassador Ishi-zy told the official donation ceremony.

Ishi-zy expressed his country\s readiness to provide financial, material as well as human resources to back CAR\s national reconstruction efforts.

CAR\s Youth Minister Dsir Zanga Kolingba, who received the donation on behalf of the government, said China was and remained a leading friend and partner of his country in light of its key investments in the country.

Chinas assistance to CAR include the Bangui-based Friendship Hospital, which is the country\s leading health infrastructure, and a 20,000-seat football stadium, costing a total of 40 billion CFA francs.

Published by Korir, API*APN africanpress@chello.no tel+47 932 or+47 63 source.apa

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Liberian president receives German, Israeli diplomats

Posted by African Press International on August 22, 2007

Monrovia (Liberia) Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has received the letters of credence of the German and Isreali ambassadors accredited to the country and appealed to both countries to pursue cooperation as they did before the civil war.

Madam Johnson particularly appealed to Canadian businessmen to consider investing in Liberias mining and mineral sectors.

Speaking Monday when she received the letters of credence of the Ambassador to Canada accredited to Liberia Ambassador Marie Isabelle Massip, President Johnson Sirleaf said the mining and mineral industry of Liberia is gradually gaining momentum following the lifting of United Nations sanctions on the country.

” As you know, now that sanctions are lifted, we are trying to re-establish our mining activities. There are now so many biddings to start operations; we hope Canada with strong technical skills will take advantage of the opportunities,” President Sirleaf said.

President Johnson Sirleaf hoped the tour of duty of Ambassador Massi would ensure the further strengthening of ties between Canada and Liberia.

“The government and people of Canada have admired your effort and determination to bring Liberia back on the path, and build the country on the principles of democracy and good governance,” Ambassador Massip said.

She assured that her government would continue to work with thge United Nations and other bodies to assist Liberia.

Meanwhile, a presidential mansion press statement on Tuesday said President Sirleaf on Monday received the letters of credence of the new Israeli Ambassador to Liberia, Daniel Kadem.

Speaking at the occasion, the Liberia leader observed that relations between Israel and Liberia go back several years, during which this Middle East country has been a strong partner to the development of Liberia.

She said “Israel has always been there for Liberia at the level of the United Nations, providing support for the UN peacekeeping mission in Liberia and supporting NGO activities”.

“Quite recently, Israel granted opportunity to over 100 Liberians who should have been deported to stay in that country. We are very thankful for that partnership,” President Sirleaf told Ambassador Kadem.

Published by Korir, API*APN africanpress@chello.no tel+47 932 or+47 63 source.apa

 

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Posted by African Press International on August 22, 2007

Accra (Ghana) A 72nd minute goal from Senegalese international football star, El Haji Diouf on Tuesday evening saved the senior national side of Senegal, Taranga Lions, from defeat by Ghanas Black Stars in a friendly match played at the Milwall Sports Stadium in North London monitored live on television in Accra.

Diouf superbly dribbled Black Stars goalie Richard Kingston to find the much needed equaliser to make the score 1-1 after Black Stars Udinese striker, Asamoah Gyan had scored the opening goal in the 44th minute of the first half.

The 1-1 score line is a repetition of a pre-world cup friendly match played between the two teams in London before Ghana participated in the world cup in Germany last year.

The Stars was poised to win the game to confirm its superiority over the Lions after many competitive matches had gone in their favour.

For the first half, both teams made incursions into vital areas of their opponents but failed to score until Asamoah Gyan found the net with a left footer that beat goal keeper Tony Sylva in the 44th minute.

The Taranga Lions operating around Diouf of Bolton Wanderers in England, tormented the defense of the Stars, which paid off in the 72nd minute after he had hit the roof of the net in the first half.

Stars Michael Essien was substituted in the latter part of the game after an injury.

Both Ghana and Senegal made five substitutions.

Published by Korir, API*APN africanpress@chello.no tel+47 932 or+47 63 source.apa

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