President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party will not be fielding a candidate in the upcoming Msambweni constituency by-election and instead it will be backing prime minister Raila Odinga’s ODM candidate
A statement released by Jubilee party Secretary-General Hon Raphael Tuju confirmed the party had to let ODM reclaim its seat.
The seat fell vacant following the death of Suleiman Dori, who lost the battle to cancer on September 3, 2020.
“With the unprecedented corporation between Jubilee and ODM in Parliament in the recent past on matters of national importance and given that this was an ODM seat, the decision has been made that Jubilee will not field a candidate in the interest of the bigger picture- Hon Tuju’s statement read in part
“This announcement has been made in good time so that any aspirant who has interest in a Jubilee ticket still has other pathways o running for this seat,” Tuju statement continued.
He added that a number of strong aspirants had expressed interest in vying for the seat through the ruling party.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) announced the by-election date as December 15, 2020.
Meanwhile Deputy President William Ruto also announced that he had accepted the Jubilee Party’s decision not to field a candidate for the Msambweni by-election.
Ruto said he was of a different view and wanted his ally Sharlet Mariam Akinyi Onyango to contest the seat on a Jubilee Party ticket.
He added that out of the consideration for the need to speak in unity, he would support the party position on the by-election.
“We have held a meeting with the SG (Raphael Tuju) on the decision made. I am satisfied with the decision. Those who had intentions to use Jubilee Party in Msambweni to use alternative avenues.”
“I was of a complete different view that the party should have fielded a candidate. We want to speak from one position as a party, I however sympathize with Mariam who is here,” Ruto said.
The DP said he had not been consulted before the decision not to field a candidate was made.
Tuju had earlier indicated that the decision was arrived at after internal consultations but did not name those who were kept in the loop.
Mariam recently defected from ODM and had been accompanying the DP in several of his meetings .
It is obvious DP Ruto opted out of the Msabweni battle for fear of a humiliation he suffered in the Kibera by-election.