We won’t accept zoning, affiliate parties tell Azimio

UDP party leader Cyrus Jirongo addressing a rally in Lugari
UDP party leader Cyrus Jirongo addressing a rally in Lugari

It is a tough test for Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition as parties and individual candidates defy the bid to convince some troops to drop their political bids in favour of popular ones.

The strategy that the coalition wants to use opinion polls to identify popular candidates to fly the Azimio flag so as to have strong candidates who will win at the ballot may hit a dead end after individual candidates maintained that they will not be coerced to shelve their ambitions and support others.

Sibling rivalry could also emerge out of the new strategy after some constituent parties expressed their displeasure with the requirement arguing that the proposal seeks to strengthen  Raila Odinga’s ODM party at the expense of others.

United Democratic Party (UDP) leader Cyrus Jirongo maintained that his party will not withdraw candidates who have been cleared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to contest for various elective seats.

Jirongo said the affiliate parties in Azimio only fronted  Odinga of the ODM party as their Presidential candidate and that should not be misinterpreted to give  Odinga’s party the autonomy to manipulate other parties.

Speaking when he launched his campaigns for the Kakamega governorship seat, the former Lugari MP argues that unequal distribution of seats within the coalition parties could wreck its ability to win the coming elections.

“Raila has his party (ODM) and I have my party (UDP). Nobody should tell my party not to field a candidate at any level. I understand the strategy they usually use to kill other parties and I will not bow to it,” said Jirongo.

“Since we gave the ODM party the seat of the President, it should have agreed to give way to other parties who are supporting Mr Odinga’s Presidential bid instead of following them up to withdraw their candidates,” he added.