The Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition has reportedly proposed the position of Chief Minister in order to avert a split over Raila Odinga’s presidential running partner decision.
The office, whose holder is expected to supervise and coordinate government duties, is said to have been created to please those vying for the running mate position, including Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Narc Kenya’s Martha Karua, in the event they are not chosen.
This development demonstrates the difficulty Mr Odinga’s camp is facing in balancing competing interests in the selection of the deputy president nominee, despite the fact that the coalition party named a seven-member panel to do so yesterday.
According to sources, Kalonzo Musyoka’s apparent strong stance and the necessity to accommodate him in the event he is not chosen as running partner sparked the proposal of a Chief Minister role in order to pacify him and others. This is in addition to a number of Cabinet and other high-profile roles.
If the coalition forms the next government, the position holder will have broad powers, including the ability to serve as the government’s face, similar to the role Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has played in President Kenyatta’s second term following the fallout with Deputy President William Ruto.
“Azimio La Umoja shall establish the office of the Chief Minister for the purposes of inclusivity and smooth operation and functioning of government business. The government requires an office that coordinates its functions on behalf of the Executive for the proper execution of the day to day running of the government,” an Azimio Strategist told the Nation newspaper.
The last time the country had such a position was when Mr Simeon Nyachae was appointed Chief Secretary by President Daniel Moi.