DP Ruto to lead Uhuru 2017 re-election campaign

William RutoDeputy President William Ruto will steer President Uhuru Kenyatta’s 2017 presidential campaign as the leader of the new Jubilee party.

The Star has learnt Ruto’s deputy will be Meru Senator Kiraitu Murungi in a line-up being put together by the new party.

The plan to pair Ruto and Kiraitu is part of the Uhuru succession plan expected to kick off immediately after the 2017 election, if Jubilee wins the presidency.

It is still unclear who will be the party chairman, though there are suggestions TNA will take that position.

TNA is currently chaired by nominated MP Johnson Sakaja.

Some in the affiliate parties have been reluctant to merge, fearing they would lose their identities, however, the merger push is on. Momentum is building, despite some push and pull.

With URP taking the party leader position and TNA the chairmanship, it has been suggested one of the other Central Kenya parties takes the secretary general’s post.

“Nyeri Governor Nderitu Gachagua of the GNU party may be given the position, according to discussions thus far,” a source familiar with last weekend’s Naivasha retreat for deliberations said.

Uhuru has formed the Jubilee Alliance Party as his vehicle for the 2017 elections, though there have been suggestions that the affiliates form a new party.

The steering committee has been silent on the discussions in Naivasha but there is a suggestion that Uhuru has asked the Jubilee Alliance Party name be retained.

Uhuru and Ruto have formed a 15-person steering committee of all the Jubilee parties chaired by Kiraitu to ensure the merger happens by December.

That committee was formed at a secret meeting chaired by Uhuru and Ruto two weeks ago.

Parties represented on the committee include TNA, URP, GNU, APK, NFK, Ford People and UDF.

‎Uhuru is retaining the same British firms that engineered his 2013 presidential runs and handled international media publicity.

In the early preparations, Uhuru has tasked UK-based BTP Advisers to develop a more elaborate launch for JAP than TNA.

The British firm, working with the State House political team, is to come up with persuasive scorecard highlighting the Jubilee Coalition’s first-term achievements.

“They will help shape the messaging to counter any question that will arise from the 2013 Jubilee manifesto. They will also help us package JAP, not as a coalition but as the only party supporting Uhuru’s reelection bid,” a senior official in the Presidency said.

The Star has learnt it was on the advice of the British firm that Uhuru and Ruto decided to merge their parties into JAP by December this year.

Uhuru’s campaign in 2013 was run by BTP Advisers in conjunction with his local team ,and the British firm was involved in all key political decisions.

BTP Advisers at this time are changing the narrative, as there are no ICC charges against Uhuru, and it will show how the government has delivered concrete results.

– the-star.co.ke

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