A new war front among the three Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) principals has been opened after Raila Odinga ally warned that Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) supporters won’t accept anything short of a Raila presidency come 2017.
ODM Nairobi county chairman George Aladwa warned that the party supporters expect the other two principals, Moses Wetangula and Kalonzo Musyoka, to back Raila come 2017 to challenge President Uhuru Kenyatta for the country’s top seat.
Aladwa further said that no matter the deliberations the three principals will make, ODM supporters want to two to agree on how they will ensure Raila becomes the coalition’s flag bearer.
“Tumesema kama ODM, 2017 kama sio wewe, hakuna mambo ingine kama hayo. Wewe ndio tunataka ukue rais (We have agreed as ODM that 2017 it is you and no one else. We want you to be the president),” Aladwa said.
Aladwa further said that if the other two principals don’t give Raila the chance to fly the coalition’s flag then ODM will not work with the other parties in the coalition.
Aladwa made the remarks in the presence of Raila who afterwards avoided the matter and instead chose to discuss ODM grassroots elections.
Raila said that the party will conduct free and fair elections to pick candidates for various seats in 2017.
The elections are scheduled for February 2017.
His sentiments are likely to cause yet another rift in the coalition considering Kalonzo and Wetangula have expressed their interest in running for the presidency.
Wetangula even went a step further to launch his presidential bid early 2016, despite the launch being marred by violence when his supporters clashed with those of ODM.
Kalonzo recently launched his own website in what is seen as putting his house in order as he aims to vie for the top seat for a second time.
He tried in 2007 but came a distant third behind Raila Odinga and Mwai Kibaki. He was later eventually appointed vice president, angering Raila and his supporters who were contesting the disputed defeat.
Aladwa is not new to controversy.
He was grilled by detectives at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and even presented to court over hate remarks he made while attending an ODM rally in Kibera, Nairobi.