Ruto-Mudavadi pact buoys smaller parties seeking alliances

Ruto Mudavadi pact

The pre-election pact between Deputy President William Ruto and former vice-president Musalia Mudavadi has given a lifeline to smaller parties seeking to become coalition partners.

Photo credit: Evans Habil | Nation Media Group

The pre-election pact between Deputy President William Ruto and former vice-president Musalia Mudavadi has given a lifeline to smaller parties seeking to become coalition partners.

It rolls back the push by Dr Ruto to have a “six piece” voting pattern in the August General Election, a stance that saw several smaller outfits disengage from the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party.

Other parties were free to join the Ruto-Mudavadi coalition, said UDA secretary-general Veronica Maina on Monday after the party’s parliamentary group meeting chaired by Dr Ruto.

“UDA is a big party, and we welcome more partners (with other political parties) who (agree) with the bottom-up policy to improve the lives of Kenyans. Our doors are open for others to join in,” she said.

Dr Ruto, on the other hand, said that it was unfortunate some ethnic-based political parties had been sponsored and registered in the past few months to divide the people.

“We (UDA, ANC and Ford Kenya) have come together to stall the divisive politics and roll out a road map for the next General Election, even as we work on a national party,” Dr Ruto told reporters at his office in Karen, Nairobi.

“Any engagement between the (political) parties will be published and filed with the Registrar of Political parties as required in law.”

Hot-and-cold relationship

Some of the parties that have had a hot-and-cold relationship with UDA in the past few months are The Service Party of Kenya led by former Agriculture Cabinet secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri and Chama Cha Kazi of Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria.

Mr Kiunjuri and Mr Kuria were seen as leading their parties to move away from UDA after Dr Ruto and his allies seemed to arm-twist them to fold their outfits and join UDA.

Chama Cha Mashinani, led by former Bomet governor Isaac Ruto, has also fended off attempts to have it dissolved and its members join UDA ahead of the General Election.

“We are backing Dr Ruto to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta in the August 9 General Election, but we will retain our independent identity,” said Mr Ruto, who is seeking to recapture the Bomet governor’s seat.

“The party will field candidates in various elective positions across the country.”

Elect only UDA candidates

DP Ruto has been pushing his supporters to elect only UDA candidates for President, governors, senators, woman representatives, MPs and members of county assemblies.

That strategy has now been complicated by UDA’s agreement with ANC and Ford Kenya.

“In Rift Valley, it is UDA that will carry the day compared to the other political parties. In fact, we do not expect Jubilee, ODM, ANC and (Wiper) to field candidates in the majority of the constituencies in the region,” said Mr Malon Rono, a quantity surveyor and aspirant for the Bureti parliamentary seat.

The party that has the support of young people will carry the day in Rift Valley counties, said Nairobi-based businessman Alvin Kibet, an aspirant for the Bomet Central parliamentary seat.

“Notwithstanding the expected (disputes) in the nominations, it is given that the party with sound policies on sorting the unemployment crisis for the youth and creating an enabling environment for macro, micro, small and medium enterprises to flourish will carry the day,” he said.

But Dr Ruto is also expected to get pushback from some regions where parties were seen to have been sidelined before he announced the partnership with ANC and Ford Kenya.

“You tell Mount Kenya to fold their parties but welcome other regions to work with you through their parties….,” wrote Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu on his social media pages.

The Kenya United Party, fronted by West Pokot Governor John Longanyapuo and Upya, backed by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukuri Yatani, are positioning themselves as alternative outfits for candidates in various parts of the country.

Jubilee, ODM, Wiper, ANC, Ford Kenya, Kanu, UDA, the Economic Freedom Party, Maendeleo Chap Chap, the Party of Development and Reforms, CCM, Kenya National Congress, Kenya People’s Party, the People’s Democratic Party, Chama Cha Uzalendo, the Democratic Party, the Frontier Alliance Party, the Movement for Democracy and Growth, the Muungano Party, the National Agenda Party, New Democrats, and PNU are the only outfits currently represented in Parliament.


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