|Pressure has mounted on President Kibaki to appoint a woman to the newly created position of deputy prime minister.
The calls came after Energy minister Kiraitu Murungi said power should be distributed fairly across the country.
In the national accord that brought PNU and ODM together in a grand coalition, each of the two major parties are required to appoint a deputy prime minister to assist the prime minister.
The PM is supposed to come from ODM, which is the party with majority of MPs in Parliament. And the party has already settled for its leader, Mr Raila Odinga, to take the seat.
“We do not want to be accused of concentrating power in one region. You know the President comes from around (Mt Kenya region) and it is only fair that the DPM post be given to other communities,” Mr Murungi had said.
The Energy minister, who was one of those being proposed as a suitable candidate for the post, said he had shelved his ambition for the seat.
Laikipia East MP Mwangi Kiunjuri, his counterparts from Mukurwe-ini and Kieni Kabando wa Kabando and Nemesyus Warugongo, said the seat should go to a woman.
“Considering the gender factor, the person who is more qualified is Martha Karua (the minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs),” Mr Kabando said, adding that Ms Karua should not be seen as a product of central Kenya but as a person who is known for providing leadership as well as fighting for justice.
Dr Bonny Khalwale (Ikolomani) and Mrs Charity Ngilu (Kitui Central) also said that the DPM seat should go to one of the women MPs.
However, Molo’s Joseph Kiuna said that giving the DPM’s post to a leader from Mount Kenya where the President comes from will appear as if the region is isolating other communities.
But Siakago’s Lenny Kivuti said if one was qualified for the seat where he or she comes from should not matter.
“I don’t see the reason why we should disqualify one region from getting the post,” Mr Kivuti said.
Mr Kiuna said if the DPM will be picked from members of the Kikuyu community, this will give PNU a hard time in the 2012 elections because it will be seen as a party of people from one region.
“We need support from all the regions in the country to win the 2012 elections and this is the time for us to prove that we need their cooperation by supporting them for the DPM post,” the MP said in a telephone interview.