CORD receives defectors from DP William Ruto’s URP Party

URP to dissolve in December as MPs seek to amend Political Parties Act
URP to dissolve in December as MPs seek to amend Political Parties Act

The race to the 2017 General Elections is already taking shape with the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) Raila Odinga receiving over 200 members who have defected from the United Republican Party (URP).

The move by the URP members to defect comes just two days after the party announced that it will dissolve on December 18th in order to allow its members to transition to the newly formed Jubilee Alliance Party (JAP), the political outfit President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto will use to seek re-election come 2017.

URP, which is under the leadership of Mr. Ruto, enjoys dominance in Rift Valley and a substantial support in North Eastern Kenya.

The defectors, who were received by Mr Odinga and other Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) officials, said they were alienated by the DP’s party and cannot continue hanging on to it.

The move, CORD says, will boost its support in Rift Valley and help solidify its voting block in a region that proved a slippery ground for the party in the last elections.

The defectors, however, are not elected members but CORD says this is not an issue since they have strong influence on the ground.

The Jubilee Coalition, which the URP is an affiliate party, has dismissed the defectors saying the party continues to dominate the region.

Dr Noah Wekesa, the JAP’s Steering Committee co-chair said: “We are not scared. Let them leave. For us, we continue to forge forward as a party, and those who want to leave can do so at their will.”

The Jubilee Alliance has reiterated its stance to dissolve all the founding parties by December with the steering committee expected to form a new name for the new vehicle to be used in the 2017 elections.

“We have plans to dissolve TNA, URP and all the other parties that form JAP and as the steering committee, we aim to find a new name which shall be used by the new party. By December we should be done with finding a new name,” said Dr. Wekesa.

On Monday, CORD also launched a newspaper, The Kenyan Weekly, in a bid to give the party a voice.

The reinvigorated activities by political parties point to just how much they are trying to get their houses in order ahead of the elections.

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Story By Koome Kimonye
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