African Press International (API)

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PNU chiefs in State House meeting with Kibaki

Posted by African Press International on October 30, 2007


Published on October 30, 2007, 12:00 am

By Joseph Murimi

President Kibaki summoned his generals to State House, Nairobi, for a crisis meeting in a last-ditch effort to resolve a nominations stand-off threatening to tear apart his Party of National Unity (PNU).

Cabinet ministers, Vice-President, Mr Moody Awori, Kanu chairman, and Mr Uhuru Kenyatta, among other leaders of PNU constituent parties attended yesterdays daylong meeting, but discussions on the thorny issue were last night said to be inconclusive.

Though the leaders seemed to agree on a joint nomination, according to a source, the general membership, especially aspirants, remained adamant.

“We have resolved to go on even if it means up to midnight. We want conclusive discussions and then leave Nairobi to campaign in the villages, the source told The Standard.

Since the coalition announced it would hold joint nominations, some partners have insisted they would go it alone. Only Kanu had been left to field candidates.

PNU is seeking to forestall any fallout at a critical time when the General Election is around the corner.

The source said the State House meeting was alive to the fact that the tussle between immediate former MPs and aspiring candidates poses a risk to the party unity. Aspirants are accusing immediate former MPs of locking them out of PNU and behaving as if they own the party.

They are pushing for direct nominations by their mother parties. The source, however, said the meeting ruled out direct nominations.

The leaders also sought a new strategy to help consolidate the gains the President and PNU have made.

The meeting noted that though the latest opinion poll showed Kibaki had gained marginally, he was still trailing his main rival.

It was resolved that PNU brigade should campaign on anti-majimbo platform because the public mood was for a unitary state, not federalism.

The source said the meeting agreed that the President launches his manifesto on November 10 at Uhuru Park and that final details be worked out.

PNU top party organ, the Council, would draw representatives from all affiliate parties, it was resolved.

Below the Council would be the Co-ordinating Committee, now chaired by Science and Technology minister, Dr Noah Wekesa, and the National Elections Board.

Our source said the meeting was also to draw timetable for nominations to meet the Electoral Commission of Kenya deadline.

Others who attended the meeting included Mr Musikari Kombo, Mr Chirau Mwakwere, Mr Joseph Munyao, Mr Kipruto Kirwa, Mr Raphael Tuju, Prof George Saitoti, Dr Mukhisa Kituyi, Mr Simeon Nyachae, Prof Wangari Maathai and Mr Paul Muite.

Lifted and published by API/APN

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