Uhuru and Raila focus on presidential vote, tell supporters make own choice on other position

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The leading political forces Jubilee Party and National Super Alliance have abandoned campaigns against independent candidate, opting for a strategy to work with those who would win the elections.
The leading presidential candidates President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga are said to have decided to concentrate on winning the presidency and send overtures to independent MPs upon winning elections.
Immediately after political party primaries, which were marred by irregularities, President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga began a massive campaigns against independent candidates but dropped hardline positions after sensing some candidates were strong and could find their way into the august House.
Inclusion in committee would be key in negotiations with the independent Members of Parliament, which will play out first during the elections of the speakers of Senate and National Assembly should their numbers interfere with the political equation.
Committee membership is popular among MPs because it provides avenues for extra allowances during committee sessions and trips abroad.
Political pundits contend that the numbers of independent candidates could be high but their association with political parties will not change due to lake structures in political parties and definite members.
According to Centre for Multiparty Democracy, political parties in Kenya are personality based and are always active during grassroots elections, primaries and campaign periods.
Office of Registrar of Political Parties cleared about 4,000 independent candidates to vie for the six positions up for grabs, with majority of them having participated in political parties’ primaries before their resignation.
“The only independent politician in Kenya is Patrick Musimba. He has remained independent since 2013 elections and will be defending his seat as an independent candidate. The rest we are not sure,” said Dr Carey Onyango, Executive Director of CMD.
Mr Odinga, for instance, has found himself in trouble in his own backyard when he attempted to a “six-piece’ voting format.
Mr Odinga is not only facing opposition from Independent candidates but also from partner parties in the Nasa, where co-principals are also championing the course for their candidates.
In Western Kenya and Coastal region, where the opposition draws large following, competition among Nasa affiliate parties is causing tension, which have played out recent rallies.
Earlier in the week, Mr Odinga, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetangula openly campaigned for different candidates in Homa Bay County, saying only presidential vote should be consolidated in one basket.
In Coastal region, Mombasa and Kwale Counties, the opposition coalition has found itself between a rock and hard place as rivalry between Orange Democratic Movement and Wiper Party gubernatorial candidates spell doom for its victory.
Talks on fielding a single candidate from any of the Nasa affiliate parties have borne no fruit as both Chirau Mwakwere of Wiper and of ODM refused to strike a deal on who should withdraw from the race to form a formidable force against Salim Muvrya, who is defending his seat on Jubilee Party.
In Mombasa, outspoken governor Ali Hassan Joho, deputy party leader of ODM is battling against Wiper Party’s secretary general Omar Hassan.
Mr Wetangula on the other hand, is facing opposition from an ODM candidate in Bungoma senatorial race while his deputy Bony Khalwale is battling with ODM deputy party leader Wycliffe Oparanya to become Kakamega governor
At stake is also political party fund that is usually disbursed depending on performance of political parties in parliamentary seats.

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