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Wednesday, 18 September, 2002, 16:36 GMT 17:36 UK
Kenyan opposition picks Kibaki
Kenya's three opposition leaders: Ngilu, Wamalwa, Kibaki
Opposition gets its act together after months of doubts
Kenya's main opposition alliance has nominated veteran politician Mwai Kibaki to be its presidential candidate for the elections due later this year.

The 70 year-old Mr Kibaki has already fought and lost two presidential contests - coming third in 1992 and a close second to President Daniel arap Moi in the last polls in 1997.


"No price is high enough to pay in the struggle to liberate Kenyans from poor and bad governance.

NAK statement

Mr Moi - one of Africa's longest serving leaders - is due to retire as president at the general elections.

He has proposed cabinet minister Uhuru Kenyatta as candidate for his ruling party, Kanu - sparking bitter opposition within his own party which has held power for almost 40 years.

A group of senior Kanu leaders have come together as the Rainbow Alliance to oppose Mr Kenyatta and call for open elections within the party for the presidential nomination.

Tribal alliance

"No price is high enough to pay in the struggle to liberate Kenyans from poor and bad governance," the National Alliance Party of Kenya (NAK) said in a statement announcing the selection of Mr Kibaki.

"NAK and its leaders are prepared to pay the price."

Mwai Kibaki, DP's leader
Mr Kibaki will depend on his experience and Kikuyu background

NAK is an alliance between three opposition parties - Mr Kibaki's Democratic Party, Kijana Wamalwa's Forum for the Restoration of Democracy-Kenya (Ford-Kenya), and Charity Ngilu's National Party of Kenya.

The alliance also announced it was proposing Kijana Wamalwa for vice-president and Charity Ngilu as prime minister - a job that currently does not exist but which may be introduced at the suggestion of a constitutional review which has just been published.

Mr Kibaki is from Kenya's largest tribe, the Kikuyu, Ms Ngilu from the Kamba tribe and Mr Wamalwa is a Luhya.

Together, they represent a substantial proportion of Kenya's population of 30 million, but none of them is an undisputed leader of their communities.

Mr Kenyatta, Moi's choice of successor, is also Kikuyu.

President Moi
President Moi cannot stand for re-election

Mwai Kibaki was elected as an MP for Kanu in 1963 and moved steadily through the ranks in ten years to become Moi's vice president from 1978 to 1988.

He later fell out of favour with President Moi and defected to the opposition in 1991, launching his own Democratic Party.

Correspondents say it will be interesting to see how the opposition fares this time in Kenya's tribally-based politics, with Mr Moi not contesting the forthcoming presidential election.

Kenyans choose a new president

Key stories

Inauguration day

Moi steps down

Background

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See also:

18 Sep 02 | Africa
16 Sep 02 | Africa
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21 Nov 01 | Africa
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