JP shapes up as seven parties agree to wind up

JAP candidate for the Malindi by-election Philip Charo (centre) is mobbed by his supporters outside IEBC offices after presenting his nomination papers yesterday. [PHOTO: GIDEON MAUNDU/STANDARD]

Seven parties have informed the team tasked with overseeing the formation of Jubilee Party (JP) about their resolution to dissolve.

The National Alliance (TNA), United Republican Party (URP), Alliance Party of Kenya (APK), Chama Cha Uzalendo (CCU), Grand National Union of Kenya (GNU), Democratic Party (DP) and Republican Party have deposited their resolutions to dissolve with the national steering committee.

Three other parties — the United Democratic Front (UDF), New Ford Kenya and Ford People — are yet to report to the steering committee that is tasked with working out the merger to form the new party on whose ticket President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto intend to contest re-election next year.

The co-chair of the national steering committee Noah Wekesa explained that by end of this week, the remaining parties would have complied.

"Seven parties have agreed to be dissolved to form the new party. We are still waiting for other parties, including New Ford Kenya and Ford People to submit their resolutions," said Wekesa.

"We will soon launch nationwide activities to popularise the party. The party will have a national outlook with leaders from all regions," added Wekesa, who was speaking in Mumias during the groundbreaking of Wanga University College.

But the legal process of winding up the parties is far from over. Once the national delegates conference (NDC) or the national governing council (NGC) of the political parties have ratified the resolution to dissolve, the documents are deposited with the Registrar of Political Parties.

The Political Parties Act states that the merger agreement signed shall be deposited with the Registrar within 21 days of the signing of the pact.

The law further adds that the political parties that have merged into a new political party shall stand dissolved upon registration of the new political party.

The Registrar of Political Parties Lucy Ndung'u clarified that no party had deposited the merger agreement with her office.

"I have not seen any document relating to the merger. I think they are still in the process. After they deposit the resolution signed by the party officials, they will have to craft the merger agreement before they proceed," Ms Ndung'u explained.

Wekesa said that once the nine parties were on board, they would pitch tent in various counties to popularise the outfit by engaging senators, governors, Members of Parliament, Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) and the officials of the affiliate parties.

The steering committee resolved that its co-chair and Meru Senator Kiraitu Murungi will lead the popularisation campaign of the new outfit in North Eastern, Nairobi, Mount Kenya, Eastern and Coast regions.

Wekesa will lead the teams in Western, Nyanza, Central Rift, North Rift and South Rift regions.

According to Wekesa, the meetings will bring together four to five counties to beat the self-imposed March 31 deadline.

"We have agreed to lump together counties for the meetings. They are many but we want to unveil the party by March," said Wekesa.