President Uhuru Kenyatta launched his 2017 re-election bid on 9th August 2016 at the State House. The President’s TNA party, Deputy William Ruto’s URP, together with other political parties will merge to form one political party. In all a total of 12 political parties will merge to form the Jubilee Party. The official launch was slotted for September 9-10. All parties allied to the Jubilee Party are expected to fold camp on September 8 just a day before the big launch. “We want to create parties that are national and not those that compete on tribal issues,” said the President.
Mixed Reactions About Jubilee Party Merger
The announcement made by the President and his Deputy together with affiliated political party officials, has elicited different reactions. The move has so far received a lot of criticism especially from the opposition. Opposition leader Raila Odinga claimed that the move was aimed at taking back the country to a single party state. Mr. Raila held a press conference on the same day the President announced the merger. “I welcome the announcement about the formation of a new party called Jubilee but I must tell them that the days of one-party State, the days of ‘Baba na Mama’ are long gone,” said Raila.
Musalia Mudavadi, the Amani National Congress leader, also faulted the President’s move as a ploy to reintroduce the single-party system. Mudavadi claimed that the parties allied to the Jubilee Party had not followed due process of the Political Parties Act.
In support to the merger, William ole Ntimama a former Cabinet Minister, lead other leaders from Narok and Laikipia counties to announce their preparedness to join the Jubilee Party. Mr Ntimama said they would visit regions with Maa-speaking voters to gather support for Jubilee.
Registered political parties
According to the Kenya Political Party Register there are 59 registered political parties as at December 2012. If only 12 parties merged that leaves out 40+ parties. It is also worthwhile to note that merging of a few parties did not change the constitution that allows for multiparty.
We should not forget that both Cord and Jubilee leaders were in support of a new bill to allow for the merger of affiliate political parties. The Political Parties (Amendment) Bill 2016 allows for party mergers and was passed in parliament early in the year.
Unfortunately people forget quickly and most react to the latest they hear. It is rather unfortunate that there are voters who tend to believe everything said by political leaders. Voters need to equip themselves with facts so that they are not misdirected by leaders who are only after their individual interests. As we approach the general elections more utterances from political leaders that are misdirected are expected.
A call to those willing to unify the country and avoid going back to what has been witnessed before. Voter education should be conducted massively; it is high time that election of leaders should be based on ideologies rather than other ulterior motives. Voters need to know the truth to avoid being misled.
So Who is telling the truth, let us join us the discussion below with your comments on Jubilee Party Merger Reaction.