DP offers presidential candidacy flag to Speaker Justin Muturi
What you need to know:
The Democratic Party (DP) has endorsed National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi’s presidential bid, inviting him to be the party’s flagbearer in the 2022 General Election.
In a surprise move, DP said it will be backing Mr Muturi’s bid despite the fact that he is not a member of the party.
Speaking in Nyeri on Wednesday, party officials said that they have settled on Mr Muturi following deliberations by delegates from Mt Kenya and Nairobi.
“We have conducted extensive vetting...we will be supporting Speaker Muturi as our presidential candidate. We hereby invite him to join us as we pledge our full support,” DP chairperson Esau Kioni said.
Mr Muturi, however, is yet to pick his preferred party despite announcing that he would gunning for Kenya's top job earlier this year.
But the announcement by the party comes as a boost to the Speaker who has been trying to make inroads in the Mt Kenya region amid growing political divisions over next year's election.
The Speaker declared interest in the presidency three months ago following his coronation and installation as Mt Kenya spokesperson.
The coronation by a section of Kikuyu elders split opinion among central Kenya leaders, and saw the rift in Mt Kenya widen further, pitting Mt Kenya East against Mt Kenya West.
The leadership of Kiama Kia Ma, which was behind the ceremony, has however come out to deny endorsing Mr Muturi for the presidency, saying they only played a spiritual and cultural role.
“The Speaker only received blessings as a spokesman. Kiama Kia Ma has not endorsed any candidate yet. Once all candidates have made their declaration we will weigh them and make a decision on who to endorse. And even that will just be our opinion,” Kiama Kia Ma Patron Captain Kungu Muigai said.
DP recently announced a coalition deal with the Party of National Unity (PNU) and Safina.