Plan to nominate ex-governor Ruto faces hurdle

Chama Cha Mashinani leader Isaac Ruto addresses a rally at 64 Stadium in Eldoret town on July 26, 2017. There are plans to get him into Parliament through nomination. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • It is understood that Mr Ruto himself requested the slot after being defeated in the gubernatorial race by Dr Laboso.

A proposal to have former Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto nominated to the National Assembly to take up the role of Minority Leader has split Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement.

Officials of the Opposition party in Parliament told the Nation that the matter had been brought up at meetings but was not received well by some members.

A section of the party’s leaders are of the feeling that the proposal is legally untenable.

It also emerged that the party has already written to IEBC seeking to replace one of its nominees, ostensibly Knut secretary-general Wilson Sossion.

Two officials of the party confirmed the letter had been written.

“We know it is not legally possible but let us wait for the IEBC response,” the officials who sought anonymity said.

Another source within the party’s hierarchy described the move to have the Chama Cha Mashinani leader enter the National Assembly as counterproductive to the coalition.

It is understood that Mr Ruto himself requested the slot after being defeated in the gubernatorial race by Dr Joyce Laboso.

ODM party chairman and Suba MP John Mbadi promised to get back to us with a comprehensive answer but is yet to do so.

He did not also answer our calls and text messages.

When contacted, ODM executive director Oduor Ong’wen referred us to Ogla Karani, who is the chairperson of the committee mandated to deal with party nominations list.

Changing the list of possible nominees to Parliament submitted to the electoral commission would be difficult because the Elections Act states:

“A party list submitted shall not be amended during the term of Parliament or the county assembly, as the case may be, for which the candidates are elected.”

The proposal has echoes of another in the post-election period in 2013 when the opposition mulled over how to get Mr Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka into the House to lead the Opposition.

That plan did not come to fruition as there were similar legal hurdles in the way.