A rare show of might as opposition unite in bid to dethrone Jubilee
Five opposition parties on Wednesday resolved to rally behind one presidential candidate in a bold attempt to dethrone the ruling Jubilee Party.
In what is arguably the most decisive move yet by the prospective members of the much hyped National Super Alliance (NASA), the Bomas of Kenya meeting served as a rare show of unity in the opposition with most speakers likening it to the 2002 Rainbow Coalition that ended nearly five decades of Kenya African National Union (KANU) rule.
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“We, the party leaders, elected officials and aspirants for various political offices are gathered here today presenting the hopes and aspirations of millions of Kenya’s for a just, united, democratic and prosperous nation,” read in part a statement read on behalf of the parties by Siaya Senator, James Orengo.
Leaders, aspirants and members of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), Ford Kenya, Wiper Democratic Movement, Amani National Congress and KANU made it clear that their shared objective was to ensure the Jubilee government which they accused of shortchanging Kenyans is toppled in the August 8 polls.
“We individually and collectively as leaders coalitions and parties commit ourselves to a united opposition movement and alliance to ensure that we remove the corrupt and authoritarian Jubilee Administration from power,” the statement further read.
“We are also here to emphasise that we are one opposition team, with the common dream of liberating Kenyans from the yoke of Jubilee,” added former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga.
While the highly anticipated announcement of a presidential candidate for the opposition wasn’t forthcoming, the leaders were forthright on their intention to field a joint candidate.
“I have sacrificed before and I am ready to do it again because I love this country. I expect similar sacrifice from other leaders. Whoever will be the flag bearer must put everything on the table,” said Wiper Party Leader, Kalonzo Musyoka.
“Let us all come together. This way, we will win the elections in the morning. Our gathering here must mean something; it must signify the end of corruption, must signify the opportunity for a young person to secure a job,” ANC party leader, Musalia Mudavadi, added.
This comes after the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord) abandoned the January 4 call for mass action after Parliament passed an amendment to the election law that allowed for a manual backup of the electronic voter register.
The opposition coalition had held off the protest a few days after announcing it on December 24, hours after the National Assembly passed the amendment bill, saying that they were observing how the Senate would handle the changes to the poll laws in January.
During the Bomas meeting, the opposition leaders said they would be focusing on mobilizing supporters for the month-long 2nd phase of the mass voter registration; this is with a backdrop of the passage of the contentious amendment by the Senate which was signed into law President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday.
However, after the mass voter registration exercise, CORD leaders reaffirmed their intention to go back to the streets to protest against the law they say is a deliberate attempt by the Jubilee administration to influence the 2017 poll outcome.
“After the massive voter registration, we will get back to major demonstrations until even the rats in the bushes join us,” said Machakos Senator, Johnstone Muthama.
“We will continue with our demos to oppose the election laws if the government does not issue a vacate order,” reiterated Bungoma Senator, Moses Wetangula.