Kalonzo dropped for National Assembly Speaker as Azimio unveils new line-up

Azimio has also unveiled its lineup for the Senate speaker where Kenya Kwanza will be backing Amason Kingi

Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka with Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga during a public function on August 17, 2022

Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya coalition party has fronted Kenneth Marende to face off with Bungoma Senator-elect Moses Wetangula in the race for National Assembly speaker, with Kalonzo Musyoka withdrawn from the contest.

Azimio Secretary General Junet Mohamed confirmed that the decision was arrived at after broad consultations, adding that the Wiper Party leader whose name had initially surfaced in the race was also in agreement.

He explained that the coalition chose Marende as he is an experienced hand having been tried and tested when he held the seat between 2007 and 2013.

“Azimio coalition has decided to front Marende as our candidate for the National Assembly speaker. We have decided to go for someone who has been tried and tested, someone who understands the operations of Parliament.

“We are going to formally communicate this to all our members by Monday. All the coalition partners including Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka are in agreement,” stated the Azimio Secretary-general.

The contest puts Wetangula in a delicate situation in which he has to resign as the Senator first to meet the constitutional requirement before applying for the seat without a guarantee that he will win in the first place.

In its plan, Wiper party will now produce Azimio’s candidate for the National Assembly deputy speaker.

The game plan has also reserved the Senate speaker for the Coast or the pastoralist community with their candidate set to face-off with Kenya Kwanza’a Amason Kingi for the seat.

The coalition also hopes to tap into Marende’s record as unifying figure as was evident when he steered the national assembly at a time of deep political divisions sparked by the disputed 2007 presidential elections.

Support from Western Kenya MPs where both Wetangula and Marende hail from is also a factor in the choice of the candidate.

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