By Samuel Ouma | @journalist_27
The Deputy President William Ruto’s presidential bid is set to suffer a major setback if the proposal to merge the ruling and the opposition parties materializes.
A section of the Jubilee party led by legislators Maina Kamanda, Nduati Ngugi and former Member of Parliament Kabando wa Kabando are pushing for unity between Raila-led party, ODM and President Kenyatta’s Jubilee.
It is alleged that the main agenda of the merger is to bring Odinga and Kenyatta together as coalition partners, a proposal that many believe would further scuttle Ruto’s ambition of succeeding Kenyatta.
The outcome of the proposed move is yet unclear given that President Kenyatta had disclosed he will retire when his term expires in 2022. Odinga also has not expressed his interest in the State House race.
“I’m not interested in serving another term. I will not take up the chance even if everyone wanted me to,” said Kenyatta in an interview with CNN last year.
There have been calls to change the Constitution to accommodate Mr. Kenyatta on the ground that he is young to retire.
Ruto could find himself in the cold if the new outfit becomes a reality and his allies have vowed not to bow out of the party.
“We are a key plank in Jubilee having folded the United Republican Party alongside The National Alliance party and others to form a coalition with a clear development agenda and succession plan which we have no intention of abandoning,” said legislator Nelson Koech, Ruto’s ally.
The United Republican Party (URP) of Ruto and Uhuru-led The National Alliance were dissolved ahead of 2017 polls to form Jubilee party. The party has been in its worst state since the famous handshake between the President and the opposition Chief.
The rift in the outfit is widening day and night. Two factions have emerged, the anti-handshake group and the pro-handshake. The party’s ability to hold together until 2022 is matter of doubt.
A group of the deputy president’s supporters had hinted a possibility of reviving URP should Jubilee party fail to give him a ticket to vie for President.
Ruto has continuously attacked the former Prime Minister Raila Odinga accusing him of planning to kick him out of Jubilee, allegation President Kenyatta has rubbished.
“We sit; we discuss; we agree. Mr. Odinga also gives me ideas that enhance something and makes it even better. What is wrong with that?” posed the President.