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Coast JAP leaders want Najib Balala to go for Hassan Joho seat

By Philip Mwakio | June 15th 2016

Jubilee Alliance Party (JAP) interim officials want Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala to run for governor in next year’s elections.

During a meeting for party leaders Wednesday, Mombasa County JAP Co-ordinator Ali Mwatsahu said officials and members were contemplating Mr Balala as their party flag bearer.

“We are not saying that Balala will be our automatic choice given that there are other equally capable leaders in JAP who can also go for the seat,” Mwatsahu added.

Balala lost the Mombasa senatorial race to Hassan Omar in the 2013 contest and was later appointed to Cabinet as Mining Cabinet Secretary before being moved to Tourism. He served as Mvita MP between 2002 and 2013. There are other strong Jubilee politicians who also want to challenge Governor Hassan Joho including 2013 loser Suleiman Shahbal.

“We think Balala presents the best outfit of those with leadership credentials and we shall make presentations to him to convince him to go for the seat,” Mr Mwatsahu said.

Mombasa mayor

This is the second time in less than a week that the name of the former Mombasa mayor is being floated as a possible candidate for the county’s top post.

Balala has not commented on the matter. Supporting Balala’s proposed candidature, Mombasa businesswoman and JAP activist Janet Mirobi said their choice was based on his impressive track record.

“Balala who earlier on served as both Mombasa mayor brought about sanity in the Port city and was even voted Africa’s best performing tourism minister when he first held the post under the grand coalition government set up,” Ms Mirobi said.

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