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Muslim group endorses Cord

Sunday, January 13, 2013

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The Muslim Leaders Forum on Sunday re-endorsed Coalition for Reform and Democracy (Cord) led by Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka.

The forum leaders told journalists in Nairobi that Cord's leadership “could be trusted to serve Kenyans with honour and integrity.”

“After careful examination of the choices on offer for the presidency and the alliances established, the Muslim Leaders Forum has identified Cord as the most suitable team to take up the mantle of leading Kenyans to the next level,” the forum’s national coordinator Farouk Machanje said.

Mr Machanje, accompanied by top leaders of the forum said Mr Odinga “espouses aspirations of the Kenyan people for good and sound leadership.”

“This has been epitomised in his consistent struggles against dictatorship, tribalism, corruption, and other ills that have bedevilled Kenya over the years,” he said at a press conference in Laico Regency hotel.

But an earlier endorsement by the group in December last year was received with criticism from a section of Muslim youth who said the leaders could not compel them to vote for particular candidates.

However, the forum said it only offered direction and advice on good leadership to the Muslim constituency in Kenya, and did not wish to dictate upon members which way to vote.

The leaders hit out at the Jubilee coalition led by Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and his running mate William Ruto citing the failure to implement an agreement recently signed with Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi to allow him lead the coalition.

“If Mr Mudavadi with whom the Jubilee had signed an agreement in the presence of lawyers could be bamboozled, dropped and the MoU discarded, it gives Kenyans an inkling of the type of leaders in the Jubilee coalition,” he added.

The forum also said leaders of the Jubilee coalition campaigned against the Constitution and if they were given chance to lead the country; they would reverse the achievements of the new law because they did not believe in it during the referendum in 2010.

“The Constitution, which Kenyans placed a great premium on, needs a strong soldier who believes in it to implement,” Mr Machanje said.

On the indictment of the duo at the International Criminal Court, the forum’s national coordinator said: “Given a choice between saving their skins and governing, priority will of course be given to the former.”

“Kenyans won’t buy the ‘governance by remote control from the Hague’ argument.”

At the same time, the forum did not adequately answer why the choice of other presidential contenders as Prof James Ole Kiyiapi, Martha Karua, Peter Kenneth and Mr Mudavadi was not endorsed.

“We strongly believe the presidency of Mr Odinga will move the nation to the next level after the March 4 elections,” Sheikh Khalfan Khamis said.

Source: Daily Nation

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