, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 13 – The Jubilee Alliance Party of Kenya will hold nominations for a flag bearer in the Kericho Senate seat by-election on Saturday.
Secretary General Veronica Maina said the party has cleared six aspirants for the seat.
“For the voters in Kericho we want to welcome you and urge you to come out and help us determine the most popular candidate who should bear the Jubilee ticket. We have had rumours out there saying we have an endorsed candidate; we don’t have an endorsed candidate,” she said.
The candidates include former Roads Minister Franklin Bett, former ODM Executive Director Magerer Langat, Sammy Chepkwony, Aaron Cheruiyot, Festus Kirui, and Joel Kipngetich.
She said they will use the exercise as testing ground to gauge the party’s popularity in the region.
Maina said the United Republican Party (URP) which enjoys political support in the area has agreed to back the candidate from the joint nomination.
“What Jubilee Party is doing at the moment is working very, very closely with URP. In fact you will find that the candidates have come through URP, because it is the URP which is more popular on the ground and is very entrenched in the ground but as you well know we are working on a merger with those parties in order to get the harmony within Jubilee,” the JAP Secretary General explained.
The Kericho Senate by election which is slated for March 7, was occasioned by the appointment of Charles Keter into the Cabinet.
Chepkwony would appear to be the most favourite candidate because of his close working relationship with Deputy President Willam Ruto and Keter.
Chepkwony who is the current chairman of the National Housing Corporation and a former long serving chairman of Kericho based Tea Research Institute of Kenya and a tea farmer is not a new entrant in Kericho politics after he unsuccessfully contested for URP governorship party nominations in 2013.
Bett, who served as the Roads Minister in the grand coalition government took a self-imposed political exile after he opted against defending his Bureti parliamentary seat in the 2013 poll. He was the appointed to head the Joint CORD Election Board. He quit active politics after the 2013 polls to focus on personal projects, but emerged in 2015 announcing that he was decamping from ODM to join the JAP.
Magerer Lang’at was the executive director of ODM until he was forcefully and violently kicked out of the party by ODM goons who assaulted him during a party National Executive Committee meeting at Orange House.
JAP Secretariat announced that the election will be held at the Constituency level and urged residents to turn up with national identification documents because they will be using the voters register produced by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.
Voting is slated to begin at 6am to 4pm after which counting will commence. The tallying centre will be housed at Kericho Teachers Training College.