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Friday, 11 October, 2002, 09:19 GMT 10:19 UK
Kenya's ruling party splits over vote
President Moi
President Moi cannot stand for re-election
A group of dissident senior members of Kenya's ruling party, Kanu, are boycotting a delegates conference convened to elect a candidate for the presidential election due in December.

Several candidates wanting to succeed President Daniel arap Moi as president have missed the deadline to present their papers and stand as candidates.

The group - known as the Rainbow Alliance - had threatened to form their own party if open elections were not held at the convention to decide the party's candidate.

But President Moi and his allies maintained that a voice vote from the 4,000 or so delegates would be sufficient.

Rally

The Rainbow Alliance, which includes the ruling party's secretary general Raila Odinga, Information Minister Kalonzo Musyoka and former vice president George Saitoti, say they will announce their next move at a public rally at Uhuru Park in Nairobi on Monday, the same day as the conference.

Uhuru Kenyatta
Uhuru Kenyatta: Favoured by President Moi
Their last Nairobi rally on 22 September drew tens of thousands of people.

President Moi has been campaigning hard for his choice to succeed him, Uhuru Kenyatta, sparking a bitter split within the party.

The relatively inexperienced politician, who is the son of the nation's first president Jomo Kenyatta, presented his nomination papers earlier this week.

He is now almost certain to become Kanu's candidate in presidential elections.

The row led to violent protests earlier this week at a rally addressed by President Moi, in which two people were reportedly killed.

Kanu has held power for some 40 years since independence.

Two general elections after Kenya returned to multiparty politics in 1991 were marred by politically motivated ethnic violence.

The opposition could not agree on a single candidate, and Mr Moi and Kanu won both polls in 1992 and 1997.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Kariuki wa Mureithi on Focus on Africa
"Alliance leaders insist Moi abandons Project Uhuru"
The BBC's Andrew Harding
"It's already getting a little bit violent"
Kenyans choose a new president

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See also:

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21 Nov 01 | Africa
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