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Friday, August 18, 2017

NASA will easily win in a rerun

Opposition leaders Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), Musalia Mudavadi (Amani), Raila Odinga (Cord/ODM) and Moses Wetang'ula (Ford Kenya) after the signing of Nasa's agreement at Okoa Kenya offices in Nairobi, February 22, 2017. /COURTESY
Opposition leaders Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), Musalia Mudavadi (Amani), Raila Odinga (Cord/ODM) and Moses Wetang'ula (Ford Kenya) after the signing of Nasa's agreement at Okoa Kenya offices in Nairobi, February 22, 2017. /COURTESY

NASA principals Raila Odinga, Musalia Mudavadi, Moses Wetang’ula and Kalonzo Musyoka seem not ready to support one of them to run for President. Perhaps this is the reason it has taken them too long to announce a flagbearer.

But NASA’s strategy for winning the election should be two-fold. The first tier being the presidential poll and second is the Senate and National Assembly.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has the state machine, which gives him an advantage, hence he is more likely to marshal a reasonable number votes in the first round.

NASA must, therefore, prioritise or target to keep Uhuru from acquiring of the 50 per cent +1 vote in the first round of voting. NASA’s only chance to vanquish Jubilee lies in the second round.

The perception is that NASA is in disarray because of the principals’ power struggle, leaving members undecided.

To create order all four principals should form a Post-First Round Coalition Agreement. They should agree that all NASA principals run for the presidency.

This will energise each zone and candidate and will result in high turnout in their respective backyards. If there is a higher turnout in the opposition strongholds, it will be difficult for Uhuru to garner enough votes for an outright win in the first round.

The strategy would be that whoever comes top in the first round then runs against Uhuru in the second round. If NASA decides to nominate one candidate to run against Uhuru in the first round, they might lose the election. Unfortunately, Kenyan politics is regional and tribal.

The second level strategy is for the MP and Senate seats. The NASA strategy should be, that, if its candidate does not win the presidency, NASA should have the majority in the National Assembly and the Senate. This, in turn, will weaken Uhuru’s second term and NASA will control House agenda.

To realise this, NASA has to field a single candidate for each of the National Assembly and Senate seats.

NASA can allow ANC and Ford Kenya to field candidates in Western, ODM to field candidates in Nyanza and Wiper to field candidates in Eastern. And because of the unique ethnic composition of NASA, the coalition must factor in ethnic balancing in the case of Nairobi and other cosmopolitan counties such as Mombasa.

In these neutral grounds of Coast and Nairobi, etc, they can hold joint nominations and field only one candidate. This purely calls for joint nominations amongst ODM, Wiper, Ford-K and ANC as was the case for Narc in 2002.

In 2002, candidates were affiliated to their constituent parties, including DP, LDP, LPK, NAK and Ford-K, but still fielded candidates under one umbrella of Narc.

NASA needs to put young people on the ballot to energise the coalition. Kenyans are energetic and are always ready to go.

NASA must now target young people and encourage them to run. They youth might not have enough resources, but they will compensate with energy.

While Jubilee has the money and state machine, and is likely to come to the polls with loads of moneybags, NASA has heart and limited resources.

NASA must, therefore, front young, charismatic candidates who will appeal to the voters, not people who have been around for ages.

Lastly, NASA needs to embrace more women, especially from Gema, to contest, since women historically have proved to be better community mobilisers than men.

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