Jubilee, ODM merger in limbo as Uhuru allies push for deal with NASA
By Jacob Ngetich
| July 6th 2021
The planned 2022 pre-election deal between Jubilee and ODM party is facing headwinds after it emerged that the ruling party is instead pushing for a coalition with National Super Alliance (NASA).
Jubilee secretary general Raphael Tuju in an interview with The Standard had indicated that they were in talks with ODM over a possible merger later in the year.
“Talks are top gear to have the two parties work together in the next General Election,” Mr Tuju said.
But during the Jubilee Party retreat on Friday, it emerged that the National Executive Council (NEC) is deeply divided with a number of the members opposed to the planned merger with ODM and instead prefer working with NASA.
NEC members agreed that there was need to concentrate on revamping the party after its fortunes dwindled following a fall out between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto.
Jubilee deputy secretary general and Cherangany MP Joshua Kutuny said the planned merger with ODM was not a priority as they want to focus on revamping the party before seeking to enter into a coalition with NASA.
“The much talked about merger is not our immediate priority, we want to have a coalition with the entire opposition coalition of NASA, this will add more value with the ruling party rather than having ODM alone, its the entire coalition or nothing,” said Mr Kutuny.
He said the NEC was not opposed to the pre-election coalition but want an arrangement that will create a formidable outfit that guarantee them victory.
“If we are not comfortable with the merger, we will then consider having a presidential candidate in the next polls, nothing stops us,” said Kutuny.
The Cherangany MP’s statement will likely muddy waters for the planned merger which the ODM chairman John Mbadi had indicated was in top gear.
Addressing residents at Matunga Primary School grounds Mr Mbadi said that plans were at an advanced level to craft a pre-election pact in preparation for next year’s General Election. He disclosed that the discussions between ODM and Jubilee were not aimed at forming a coalition government.
Already, Jubilee has a working cooperation with Kanu and Wiper.
“We want a big alliance that can win the next general elections,” said Kutuny.
President Kenyatta has previously held meetings with NASA principals Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), Musalia Mudavadi (Amani National Congress) and Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetang’ula with a view of having them work together ahead of the 2022 succession battle.
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