NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 23 – Jubilee Party announced the decision to pull out of the Mswambweni parliamentary by-election on Wednesday a week after calling upon its members to submit their applications.
The decision announced by Secretary General Raphel Tuju on Wednesday afternoon came a day after Deputy President William Ruto made an unannounced visit to party headquarters where sources indicated he went to check on the progress of the selection process.
Tuju, in a statement to newsrooms, said the ruling party had elected to allow ODM to contest the election unchallenged given the opposition’s cooperation with Jubilee in parliament under the Building Bridges Initiative co-headed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM Leader Raila Odinga.
“With the unprecedented cooperation between Jubilee ad ODM in Parliament in the recent past on matters of national importance and given that this was an ODM seat the decision has been made that Jubilee will not field a candidate in the interest of a bigger picture,” Tuju said.
He said the party was also focused on addressing the constitutional crisis triggered by Chief Justice David Maraga’s advice to the President to dissolve the Parliament over unattained two-third gender rule.
“The country has very serious constitutional matters to deal with that will require sobriety and reaching across the political divides in order to navigate our beloved country across some of these challenges,” the statement read in part.
Tuju said aspirants still interested in vying for the seat left vacant following the death of Suleiman Dori, the area MP elected on an ODM ticket but later became an ardent supporter of Ruto, could do so using other avenues.
“The announcement has been made in good time so that any aspirant who has interest in a Jubilee ticket has other pathways to running for this seat.”