By ABDULHAKIM SHERMAN
The race for the Cord presidential ticket has gained momentum after ODM leader Raila Odinga was endorsed as the party’s presidential candidate.
Mr Odinga is set to battle it out with his colleagues in the CORD for the coalition’s ticket. They are Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper) and Moses Wetangula (Ford Kenya).
The Wiper Party leader Mr Musyoka has already been endorsed by his party as the sole presidential candidate. Mr Wetangula is yet to be endorsed as the Ford Kenya presidential candidate.
And after being endorsed as ODM presidential candidate, Mr Odinga agreed to handover the management of ODM affairs and his position to two of his deputy party leaders.
Speaking to the Star after the ODM Mombasa celebrations on Saturday, September 10, Mr Odinga said that Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and his Kakamega counterpart Wycliffe Oparanya had been picked to manage ODM affairs ahead of the 2017 polls.
Mr Joho and Mr Oparanya, according to the Cord leader, will be making big decisions in the party.
“Those two are trusted lieutenants of the party and I am proud to have them make big decisions in the party,” Mr Odinga said.
The move is said to have been necessitated by the need for ODM to rectify the past mistakes that denied it the presidency in 2007 and 2013.
During the celebrations, Mr Joho told Mr Odinga to sit back and let him fight off Deputy President William Ruto and the newly launched Jubilee Party.
The leaders also endorsed Mr Odinga as the ODM presidential candidate in the coming election.
And on Saturday, Mr Wetangula asked the Luhya community to back his presidential bid on the coalition’s ticket because he had a good chance of winning.
According to Daily Nation, the Bungoma Senator took his campaign to Kakamega County on the footsteps of ODM leader Raila Odinga who toured the region last week.
Mr Wetang’ula was addressing party officials and delegates from the 12 constituencies in Kakamega town.
He later toured Navakholo Constituency and addressed a campaign rally after opening party offices.
The Ford Kenya leader said the decision by ODM to endorse its leader Raila Odinga as its presidential candidate during its 10th anniversary celebration in Mombasa on Saturday was welcome.
Mr Wetang’ula said the move had set the stage for the internal race for the coalition’s candidate in which the three co-principals will battle it out for the ticket.
The other Cord co-principal is Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka.
“I want to congratulate my brother Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka for being endorsed as presidential candidates by their respective parties, but I’m ready to compete with them with decency and patriotism in our coalition in the process of nominating our flag bearer,” said Mr Wetang’ula.
Mr Wetang’ula said a team had been picked to look at available options and ensure the process of identifying a flag bearer is well handled to prevent fallout.
Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale said the Luhya community should exert pressure on Mr Wetang’ula, Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi and former Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo to work together.
Image: Raila Odinga/Facebook
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