Merging of Jubilee affiliate parties blow to multiparty democracy – Raila


Merging of Jubilee affiliate parties blow to multiparty democracy - Raila

The Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) leader Raila Odinga has hit out at Jubilee over the merging of affiliate parties.

Speaking after a meeting with leaders from the Kisii community on Tuesday, Odinga said that while he wishes the new party well, the move is indicative of Jubilee’s apparent commitment to return the country’s politics to the KANU era of single-party democracy.

“Anyone is free to join a political party and participate in the nominations. What Jubilee is trying to do is re-invent KANU. They should know that the days of a single party are long gone and their move to buy people will not go far,” said Odinga.

“We wish our friends from Jubilee Party well as they launch their party. We are, however, not scared by that move because we are more rejuvenated than we were last time.”

He termed the recent dissolution of parties as political prostitution which works to undermine democracy.

“The political ‘prostitution’ must come to an end. People must stay in a party even after they have lost.”

He noted that ODM, and by extension CORD, enjoys overwhelming support in different parts of the country noting that the competition between Jubilee and CORD in 2017 will be stiff.

He added: “I have gone around the country and met citizens who are dissatisfied with Jubilee, they will show that at the ballot.”

“We want to see a rejuvenated CORD meet a rejuvenated Jubilee. That contest will be very tough.”

The opposition leader further weighed in on the ongoing debate over the formation of a new Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and a new voter registration exercise saying with proper planning it is possible.

He recalled that in the last elections, the voter register was prepared in two months adding that voices of disquiet over the issue should be disregarded.

“I am sure we will have a new commission and a new register in time for the next elections. It is possible to register voters in two months and what we are hearing now are excuses. It happened in the last elections.”

The CORD leader’s sentiments came just hours after 12 parties expressed willingness to dissolve in favour of the newly-formed Jubilee Party.

In a national address made at State House, President Uhuru Kenyatta said the move as aimed at fostering unity and strengthening the country’s democracy.

Some of the parties who are set to join the new party include the Party of National Unity (PNU), Alliance Party of Kenya (APK), United Republican Party (URP), The National Alliance (TNA), Tip Tip, United Democratic Forum (UDF), Republican Congress Party, New Ford Kenya and Ford People.

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