By Titus Too
Mixed reactions have greeted the talks of the revival of ‘G7’ that brought together Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and Eldoret North MP William Ruto.
Some leaders welcomed the unity talks, but expressed fear that the voter-block in Rift Valley could split if Ruto yielded to a pre-election pact.
“We want each of the presidential candidates to show their strength in the first round of the elections. Ruto’s supporters know he is going for nothing, but the presidency,” said Eldoret Mayor William Rono.
The Mayor said URP under Ruto was gaining popularity ‘and that is why people are scrambling for the party’s nomination ticket’.
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Rono added that after the first round of the elections, the three leaders could then negotiate on a probable candidate for the run off. “Politics is about interests and the leaders can negotiate and agree on one candidate to go for the second round of the elections,” said Rono. Mr William Chesingany, the Marakwet county council chairman said he would support a pre-election unity of the three leaders. “The chances of the leaders winning the elections would be high if they unite. I support their teamwork,” said Chesingany.
He added: “Those who will follow the ideologies of the leaders will remain, but the lukewarm supporters would leave.”
He said it would be a tough task for ODM to contain the competition. “Some of the pledges that were promised by ODM have not been fulfilled to date,” he said.
Kapsabet Mayor Michael Rono said ‘some voters are now heading almost losing direction over the fresh alliance’.
“The opinion poll has brought about confusions and even leaders seeking elective seats are undecided on which party tickets they should use,” said Rono.
He also said that Ruto, the URP leader should consult with leaders and supporters before entering into any alliances. URP has a following in the Rift Valley province with most aspirants running for the party ticket ahead of the next elections.
Most of the current seating MPs were elected on an ODM party ticket in the 2007 polls.
Majority of the MPs have, however, shifted their allegiance to URP after Ruto and Prime Minister Raila Odinga fell out. Mr Simon Chepseba, the Keiyo county council chairman said they would support an alliance of Ruto, Uhuru and Kalonzo only after the next General Election.
“URP is intact and we are confident that those who will seek elective posts on its ticket in this region will triumph in,” said Chepseba.
Mr Kiplagat Talam, a nominated councillor at Wareng county council also asked Ruto to hold talks with NVP leader Nicholas Biwott on a possible sharing of seats ahead of the polls.
“Ruto and Biwott are our leaders. NVP has not fielded a presidential candidate. The two leaders can talk so that NVP members can support Ruto’s presidential bid,” said Talam.
He said if they agreed, NVP candidates seeking other elective seats could also be supported to have the two parties share seats.