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Jubilee, CORD differ on presidential age limit

20 August 2014, 13:31 John Kioko

Kwale - Jubilee and CORD leaders in Kwale have differed over plans to lock out candidates over 65 years of age from presidential races through a referendum.

While leaders from Jubilee said they are not targeting Raila Odinga as claimed, CORD members termed their Jubilee counterparts coward who fear to face Odinga in the 2017 general election.

Speaking separately to the media on Wednesday, Tiwi Ward Representative Omar Mwakwambirizwa and politician Richard Onsongo said such a move will not be allowed.

“We want leaders who are mature enough because that is what we lack as Kenyans and that why we are experiencing a lot of issues. Kenyans have the right to elect anyone regardless of age,” said Mwakwambirizwa.

He said that Jubilee MPs' plan will not succeed since Kenyans are the ones to decide on the issue of a referendum.

“If there is democracy then plans to lock some people outside because of age should not be tolerated in this country. We shall support Raila in 2017 because he is focused and capable of taking Kenyans from where they are,” he added.

Richard Osongo accused the Leader of Majority in the National Assembly, Aden Duale for the plan saying Kenyans will oppose it.

“Parliament will not decide for Kenyans. That is something Duale should know when it comes to the issue of a referendum. They have numbers in the Parliament but we have it at the grassroots," said Onsongo.

Onsongo said that Kenyans are ready for the CORD referendum noting that those opposing it should sit and watch.

However, former defunct Kwale town council staff, Mshenga Ruga said that the age limit is not specifically targeting Raila Odinga.

“Those claiming Jubilee is targeting Raila don’t know anything because when we make the Constitution, we don’t mention names," said Ruga.

He said that the age limit will affect everyone including him and so CORD leadership should not think they are being targeted.

He said the age limit will allow youths to take up the top leadership positions as opposed to yester years when leadership roles were set aside for old guards.

“While they target to increase county funding and IEBC disbandment, we want age limit for a presidential candidate not to exceed 65 years," he noted.

Duale was quoted in a daily newspaper saying that members of the National Assembly will introduce several questions to the referendum petition when it is tabled in the House, including setting the age limit for presidential candidates.

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