Jubilee opts for consensus over universal suffrage in party nominations

Jubilee Party Secretary-General Jeremiah Kioni when he addressed the press on April 6, 2022, at the party's Headquarters. [Edward Kiplimo,Standard]

The Jubilee Party has resolved not to subject aspirants to universal suffrage in the nominations.

Instead, the party secretary-general Jeremiah Kioni has informed the Independent and Electoral and Boundaries Commission that they will issue direct tickets, in areas where there is only one candidate.

In regions where there are more aspirants eyeing the Jubilee ticket, Mr Kioni told IEBC that they would use consensus and other methods as provided by the party regulations to pick candidates.

On April 4, the Jubilee secretary-general wrote to IEBC stating that: "Jubilee Party submits herewith form 11 A (membership list) duly certified by Registrar of Political Parties printed form together electronic version -Microsoft Excel. The party will not conduct party primaries as contemplated under the regulation 13B of Elections (General) regulations 2012."

"Jubilee Party will issue direct nomination certificates to unopposed aspirants and in positions where there is more than one aspirant, the party will select candidates through consensus and any other appropriate means in accordance with the party nomination rules," read the letter in part.

Jubilee Party director of elections Kanini Kega told The Standard that talks with aspirants to reach a consensus are being spearheaded by the party leader, President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The Kieni MP further disclosed that Jubilee will declare its contenders for various elective positions in a week’s time after the consultations.

“The President is leading the exercise and we want a situation where there will not be a loser. All those who have expressed interests will also have something to take home after elections," he said.

Speaking after attending the burial ceremony of Sussana Njoki Kianiaru, grandmother to radio presenter Njoki Mburu, Mr Kega exuded confidence that the ruling party will triumph over UDA in the August 9 General Election.

Internal rivalries

The party is facing a big test in regions where President Kenyatta's allies are contesting for the same seat.

In Nyandarua, the party is facing a dilemma to pick the governor candidate between the incumbent Francis Kimemia and the former Water and Sanitation Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki.

In Ol Kalou constituency, the incumbent David Kiaraho is facing stiff competition from George Wambugu.

Nominated MCA Wanjiku Muhoho and activist Sasha Wamae who are contesting for Woman Rep are eyeing the Jubilee ticket.

The Nyandarua senatorial seat has attracted JM Waiganjo and Dr Simon Kanyingi.

The Kirinyaga Senate race has attracted former Senator Daniel Karaba and businessman Antony Karimi. Justus Munene and Njogu Barua are eyeing the Jubilee ticket for Gichugu parliamentary race.

The party officials are also keen to reach a consensus between Deputy Governor Peter Ndambiri and Senator Charles Kibiru who are vying for Kirinyaga governor.

In Murang'a county, Mathioya MP Peter Kimari is facing strong opposition from tycoon Johnson Kihato while Kangema’s Muturi Kigano is being challenged by George Kibuku.

In Maragua, Antony Chege who emerged second in 2017 is facing competition from William Ngoru while in Gatanga the incumbent Nduati Ngugi will battle it out with Antony Kimani Mumbi.

Governance expert Prof Peter Kagwanja and former Senator Kembi Gitura are eyeing the Jubilee ticket for Murang'a senator.

“I will not engage in any negotiations with my competitor because I understand some of the county party officials are his campaign managers and the party must remove them. I have written them letters and they are aware of my concerns,” Prof Kagwanja said.

Political parties are supposed to submit their list of aspirants by April 22 to IEBC. By this time the parties are expected to have conducted primaries and resolved all disputes arising from the same.

Averting fallout

Mr Kega explained that Jubilee opted for universal suffrage to avoid fallout after the nominations that could weaken the party at a time they are engaged in the processes to revive it.

The party has engaged eminent persons who are scrutinising popular candidates while in other cases, they are using opinion polls.

Those who will agree to step down in favour of their rivals have been promised state and county jobs, which Mr Kega said is a win-win situation.

He revealed that the ruling party has established a strong dispute resolution mechanism to deal with issues that may arise from the nominations.

“Those who may not be contented with the decisions of the party will be allowed to seek redress before the established party’s tribunal but we don’t anticipate that since we expect a scenario where all candidates will be satisfied and shall be engaged in national campaigns or convincing their supporters to support the party’s flag bearer," the MP said.