Kanu will not field a candidate in the upcoming Baringo South by-election citing underhand dealings by the ruling coalition, Jubilee Party.
Party Secretary General Nick Salat said on Wednesday the party does not want to fuel division as it supports President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Government until 2022 when it will field its own presidential candidate.
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According to Mr Salat, the party's candidate, Charles Kamuren, who crossed over to Jubilee and and won the party ticket, has not resigned from Kanu.
"I have not received Kamuren's resignation. Kanu will not field a candidate as the ideal one whom the party would have fielded was manipulated by political forces from Jubilee Party to abandon Kanu,” said Salat at a press briefing in Nairobi.
Salat claimed Kamuren had won election in 2013 by 100 votes and again in 2017 by three votes, adding that the party is glad that he can now clinch the same seat he missed for 10 years.
Baringo South seat fell vacant after the death of Grace Kipchoim April.
According to Salat, senior leaders in Jubilee Party alongside Kanu Chairman Gideon Moi, had agreed to back one of Kipchoim’s family members for the seat but the ruling coalition backed off and approached Kamuren.
Kanu now says that he (Kamuren) is still in their favour and will complete Kipchoim's work.
“Kanu does not wish to engage in political competition that is likely to divide the country at a time efforts are being made to unite Kenyans following bitter political competition in 2017,” said Salat.
Salat also said that the electoral commission, as currently constituted, cannot hold a proper election adding that the party will only participate in the 2022 election if there are reforms and free and fair elections are guaranteed.
“Kanu is presently focused and committed to pushing for electoral reforms in preparation for 2022 election,” he said.
Tiaty MP William Kamket who also spoke, said Kanu is focusing on building its popularity across the country.
"We are not interested in the small scuffle but we are focused on the main battle," he said.