Mudavadi resigns as minister for Local Government, ditches ODM to join UDFP
Written by Carolyn Wamalwa and Isura Christopher
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Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi classping his hands together, the symbol of his new political party UDFP moments after he declared it as his political vehicle at the KICC in Nairobi. Photo/ UDFP
Deputy Prime minister Musalia Mudavadi has settled for the United Democratic Forum Party (UDFP), as his political vehicle to assent to presidency in the forthcoming general elections.
“I Musalia Mudavadi wish to announce that I will be offering myself as a candidate for the office of President of the Republic of Kenya on the ticket of United Democratic Forum Party at the next elections,” declared Musalia.
Musalia also announced his resignation as the Local Government minister and the Deputy leader for the Orange Democratic Party –ODM while maintaining that he will continue serving as the Deputy Prime Minister and member of Parliament for Sabatia.
However, Mudavadi maintained that he will continue to serve in his position as the deputy PM, a reserve of the appointing authority as per the National Accord.
“I have resolved this way: I have resigned as the ODM deputy party leader. When we created the coalition government four positions were written in the National Accord, these offices include the office of Deputy Prime Minister; ministerial responsibilities are national in nature and are an exclusive reserve of the appointing authority. Having consulted with the appointing authority, I have today tendered my resignation as minister for local Government. I will, however, continue to serve as the Deputy Prime minister and Member of Parliament for Sabatia Constituency,” said Musalia.
According to the National Accord and Reconciliation Act 2008 Article 4, the Office of the Prime minister and Deputy prime Minister shall become vacant if: one, the holder of the office dies, resigns or ceases to be a member of the National Assembly otherwise than by reason of the dissolution of parliament; or, tow, the National Assembly passes a resolution which is supported by a majority of all the members of the National Assembly excluding the ex-officio members and of which not less than seven days notice has been given declaring that the National Assembly has o confidence in the Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister, as the case may be; or three, the coalition is dissolved.
The DPM cited that lack of internal democracy, ethnic polarization and intolerance in his immediate former party ODM, to have largely informed his current move.
The Sabatia legislator in his address outlined that by choosing to seek presidency on a UDFP ticket, he sought to avoid maligning his ambition in a party of ethnic branding and also wished to create unity of purpose, as well as uniting Kenyans from the 47 counties thus ensuring peace, unity, tolerance and inclusivity.
If elected president, Mudavadi has promised to address education by taming surging dropout levels, boosting SMEs, job creation, full constitutional implementation, health, ICT, agriculture, energy and national reconciliation among other issues
The United Democratic Forum Party (UDFP) which has been touted to have a national outlook, reform driven, non- vindictive embraces the motto “unity for prosperity” Musalia says will not be used as a weapon of terror and has its door open to any likeminded Kenyan wishing to join forces towards forming the next government.
“The new dawn under a UDFP anchor signals a change in the way we have managed our public affairs.UDF is and will remain a national party and institution. UDFP is not a party of particular individuals, for community, ethnic group or class of people. UDFP will not be a weapon of terror,” he said.
The party comprises of the assistant ministers Kabando wa Kabando, Nderitu Muriithi, Katoo ole Metito and MPs Abdikadir Mohamed, Maison Lechoomo, George Nyamweya, Mps, Joseph Lekuton, Jeremiah Kioni, Ali Chiaba and Njoroge Baiya.
UDFP was the sixth party to present its papers to the registrar of parties as required by law and has so far been registered and is recognized as a political party in the country
UDFP head of political council Abdikadir Mohamed has assured Kenyans that the party has poised itself to addressing issue based ideologies, inclusivity, democracy, and healthy competition.
Musalia plans to hold his first national rally under the party in Nakuru’s Afraha Stadium on May 6, 2012.
Last month while in Vihiga County, Mudavadi affirmed that there was “no turning back” in his quest to run for presidency in the forth coming general elections
Similarly, in Kakamega County he had equated his quest to an expectant mother who has to wait for nine months to deliver, noting that, an emergency might happen, thus calling for patience, “I want us to give an opportunity to the child whom we are expecting to be delivered.”
He further noted that he works with time frames saying, “We have timeframes which we have to adhere to, be patient, there is nothing else. This is a journey of sacrifices, we shall be abused, called names, sleep hungry, walk on foot. It can be done if we are together.
Though he has been at loggerheads with his former Orange Democratic Party – ODM, its party leader Raila Odinga during his tour in Meru, he had made it clear that ODM had not ejected any of its members from the party adding any member was free to pursue their political dream through the party including vying for the country’s Presidency on the party ticket.
Raila pointed out that the party had met all the demands made by deputy leader Musalia Mudavadi including accepting that the party’s Presidential flag bearer to be elected by delegates at the county level.
“We have also accepted to remove a clause in the party’s constitution that gave the party leader an automatic Presidential ticket and the field is now open to any party member ready to go for it,” said the PM.
The latest polls results released by research firm IPSOS Synovate puts Musalia’s popularity and likelihood to win the presidential race at 5% and further the best placed candidate after deputy prime minister Uhuru Kenyatta to match up to Prime Minister Raila Odinga in the event of a run off by a 2% margin.