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Why Ruto presidential bid is emotive

By Kiprotich Chepkoit | June 29th 2016

That the Jubilee coalition pact between TNA and URP is under the spotlight is not in doubt.

For the second time in two month's its foundation has been shaken by the utterances by members who seem to rock the boat from within.

Early this month, Kiambu Governor William Kabogo was on the receiving end from Jubilee supporters, saying Ruto was not assured of support from Central region come 2022.

And on Monday, nominated Senator Paul Njoroge repeated the same and has received condemnation and even protests from his home turf.

That Jubilee top leaders including communication from Presidential Strategic Communications Unit released statements distancing themselves from the utterances goes to show how serious the implication of the utterances are.

First, if the TNA-URP marriage was to collapse, it will put President Uhuru Kenyatta's 2017 re-election bid in jeopardy given the stiff competition from its rival CORD, which has been courting Rift Valley - the bedrock of URP.

This is further compounded by the constitutional requirement of 50+1 for anyone to clinch the presidency. This was hotly contested in the Supreme Court by CORD when Uhuru was declared winner in the 2013 General Election.

Secondly, Rift Valley voters are banking on Central Kenya's support to install Ruto in State House in 2022 if President Uhuru is re-elected in 2017 and serves two terms.

Any indication that the region is not going to return the favour and vote for Ruto when Uhuru's term comes to an end will lend credence to the belief that Central Kenya cannot support a candidate from outside the region.

Opposition has been exploiting the failed memorandum of understanding between former President Mwai Kibaki and Cord leader Raila Odinga and the fact that Kibaki did not endorse his Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka.

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