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Ruto party puts house in order

By | April 19th 2012
By | April 19th 2012

By Steve Mkawale

Eldoret North MP and Presidential aspirant William Ruto has reconciled the warring factions within the United Republican Party (URP) who have been at loggerheads over composition of the party officials.

The wrangles had threatened Rutofs bid for presidency, as the former cabinet minister had ditched ODM and UDM over similar issues to form the URP.

At the same time former House Speaker Francis ole Kaparo is set to step down as the chairman of the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) to facilitate the registration of URP.

In a show of unity, 18 MPs allied to the party including Isaac Ruto (Chepakungu) and his Belgut counterpart Charles Keter - who for the past two weeks have been wrangling over the control of the partyfs list of officials-addressed a press conference at Parliament Buildings where they allayed fears of a split over supremacy in South Rift region.

Eldoret North MP William Ruto (left), Belgut MP Charles Keter and Dujis MP Aden Duale at a press conference on Thursday. They announced that warring factions within the United Republican Party had reconciled. Photo: Standard

Dujis MP Aden Duale, who spoke on behalf of the MPs allied to the party, said they had resolved the internal wrangles that had threatened a major split in the newly formed party and also addressed issues that had led to delay in the registration of URP.

The wrangles in URP spilled over on Thursday when Ruto accused Keter of excluding his people from the final list of officials which was to be presented to the Registrar of Political Parties.

Ruto complained that majority of the people listed as officials were related to Keter or were his close allies.

Ruto claimed Keter had deliberately omitted from the list, the names of people he had submitted.

But on Thursday, Duale said the matter had been resolved and names of party officials that were presented to the Registrar of Political party would prevail.

"We have ironed out the differences that caused rifts within the party and also addressed the issues raised by the Registrar that had caused the delay in the registration of URP," said Duale.

Duale said that Kaparo - the interim party chair would resign from his position at Nema and within 30 days the party would comply with the regulations in the Political Parties Act.

Keter and Ruto who spoke at the meeting confirmed that they had ironed out their differences and that they would continue to work together in URP.

"We have a certificate for registration that we acquired in February this year, which gives us another 30 days to comply with the new regulations under the Act," said Keter.

William Ruto, the partyfs presidential aspirant, attended the press conference but did not address journalists. He watched as his team cleared the air over the wrangles that would have left him party-less once again after ditching ODM and UDM.

Turkana Central MP Ekwe Ethuro said a meeting scheduled for Kericho on Saturday by Keter had been called off but the leaders would proceed to Makueni and Machakos for public meetings.

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