By Alex Ndegwa and Martin Mutua
The opening up of the political space by the new Constitution spells trouble for the main parties that are struggling to quell internal unrest, even as they try to comply with the Political Parties Act 2011.
The Standard has established that power struggles, threats of mass walkouts, and blistering negative campaigns from opponents dominate the parties eight months to the General Election.
Rivalry between MPs and aspirants has intensified, particularly in new parties where are competing lobby groups fronting as campaign forums that are locked in a fierce battle for the control of campaign cash.
The disharmony and turf wars highlighted in the opening of parallel party offices and stage-managed heckling of opponents at rallies, completes the picture of parties in turmoil.
And aspirants for various positions in the General Election have been literally running to align themselves with presidential aspirants, a move that has seen them clash with MPs.
Nascent parties like The National Alliance, United Republican Party, and United Democratic Forum have to further contend with the challenges associated with new outfits struggling to create power bases with polls drawing closer.
The three emerging parties have been on roller coaster countrywide campaigns, to establish grassroots support, which is lacking as opposed to their opponent, ODM
But the Orange party is also scrambling to contain tension arising from the rivalry between chairman Henry Kosgey and Roads minister Franklin Bett. Both want to be Raila’s presidential running mates.
Competition among a host of lobby groups in ODM has also caused unease, especially the ODM Reloaded caravan that has angered some Nyanza MPs because they feel its champions are hogging too much limelight.
The friction was evident in the ODM Reloaded team’s campaigns in Kisii and South Nyanza, with the MPs opposed to their colleagues taking centre stage.
The unflattering disclosures in the memoirs, Peeling Back the Mask, by Miguna Miguna, a former aide to Prime Minister Raila Odinga, are the latest headache to the Orange party.