Political temperatures are high in Bomet County as National Assembly Deputy Speaker, Joyce Laboso, veteran politician Julius Kones and Stephen Mutai wait battle it out for Jubilee Party’s gubernatorial ticket Tuesday, April 25 2017.
The three aspirants are looking to ouster ‘rebel’ Governor Isaac Ruto – this coming just days after Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) leader officially announced that he would join forces with Opposition coalition National Super Alliance (NASA) in their bid to dethrone Jubilee.
Mr. Ruto was officially welcomed to NASA’s top leadership Friday, with Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga stating that, with the Bomet Governor’s addition, the Oppositions Pentagon was complete.
“The five of us, Isaac Ruto, Moses Wetangula, Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi and yours truly Raila Amolo Odinga, have today relaunched the Pentagon,” said Raila.
Jubilee’s Litmus Test
Governor Ruto’s brazen move has attracted varied responses from both sides of the political divide with most pundits agreeing on one thing: the outcome of Ruto’s opposition bid will be the ultimate litmus test for Jubilee’s support in the Rift Valley region.
Situated in Deputy President William Ruto’s Rift Valley background, the county has been perceived as a Jubilee stronghold – an assumption that Governor Ruto has sought to change by rallying up support for his CCM outfit.
Following numerous criticisms of Jubilee’s leadership, Governor Ruto drew a line in the sand in sand 2016 when his party joined hands with independence party Kanu to field a joint candidate to rival Jubilee’s Aaron Cheruiyot in the Kericho by-elections. Despite losing at the ballot, this move worked to raise questions about the DP’s support in the region.
If Mr. Isaac Ruto, who will be seeking his re-election on a CCM party ticket, will win the gubernatorial race come August 8 2017, he will have set himself in a pole position to becoming the next Rift Valley kingpin.
Should Ruto sent home by a JP candidate, then the Deputy President will have succeeded in erasing all lingering doubts about his authority in the vote-rich region – thus making the selection of a strong gubernatorial critical for the party.
Who will be JP’s candidate? This is an answer only people of Bomet will provide come Tuesday.