Lawmakers face life and death fights for electoral seats in UDA elections

Lawmakers face life and death fights for electoral seats in UDA elections

Lawmakers allied to the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) are preparing for a tough battle for constituency-level seats in the party’s grassroots elections next Friday.

The constituency race is shaping up to be one of the most important contests in President William Ruto’s party as it will make or break the dreams of MPs seeking county seats.

An MP has to win at constituency level to qualify for a county seat, according to UDA National Electoral Board (NEB) chairman Anthony Mwaura.

This, even as Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa announced his interest in competing against acting UDA general secretary Cleophas Malala for the influential position.

Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro, who is embroiled in a supremacy fight with Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, is also said to be considering the same position.

Former Nairobi governor Evans Kidero is seeking one of the party’s newly created deputy deputy leader positions, his close aides said, although he did not reveal the position he was seeking during a recent interview with The Nation in which he announced his interest. . in one of the first national positions.

Some MPs considering being governor have declared their interest in partisan positions at the county level to boost their chances in the 2027 elections.

Winning the hotly contested seats is perceived as an endorsement of the party’s candidacy. The contest is also crucial for those seeking national positions, as those elected in the constituencies will form the National Delegates Congress (NDC).

“As an MP you have to win at constituency level to qualify to run for any party office in the county. MPs seeking county branch presidencies have no choice but to win,” UDA National Electoral Board (NEB) Anthony Mwaura told the Nation.

In Nairobi, Embakasi North MP James Gakuya, who is running for the Nairobi County presidency, has to win at the constituency level before he can take on Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja. Mr. Gakuya is said to have the backing of Mr. Gachagua.

In Narok County, Narok West MP Gabriel Tongoyo, who is running for the county presidency alongside Governor Patrick Ntutu, will have to win in his constituency before he can qualify to take on the county boss.

MPs Ken Aramat (Narok East) and Johanna Ng’eno (Emurr Dikkr), who are fighting for the position of county secretary general, will have to first win in their respective electoral elections before proceeding to the county race.

The same will happen with Kapenguria MP, Samuel Moroto, who has expressed his interest in the position of general secretary of the UDA against Jackson Rotino and Mzalendo Plimo.

Mwaura said only elected officials from the district elections held on May 18 in the five counties and nominated and elected members of the National Assembly are eligible to run.

The party has given those looking to apply until next Tuesday to apply.

“The (NEB) hereby issues this notice to all elected officials of the districts in Nairobi, Narok, West Pokot, Homa Bay and Busia in respect of the upcoming electoral elections scheduled for Friday, May 31, 2024,” it said Mr. Mwaura.

He said 4,200 delegates, including elected and nominated MPs, from the five boroughs will take part in the elections.

A breakdown of the figures shows that Nairobi has 1,700 delegates from 17 constituencies, while Homa Bay has 800 from eight constituencies.

Busia has 700 delegates from seven constituencies, Narok has 600 delegates from six constituencies and West Pokot 400 delegates from four constituencies.

The party has declared 20 posts at the constituency level, including president and vice-president, secretary and deputy secretary, treasurer, organizational secretary, youth representative, women’s representative, disabled people’s representative, MSME representative (micro , small and medium-sized enterprises), representative of farmers, representative of religious groups, representative of professionals and seven members (at least three of them of the opposite sex).

The 20 officials of each electoral district of a county, plus the governors, lieutenant governors, senators and representatives, will form the county Congress and elect 20 county officials from among themselves.

All county officials (20) and seven electoral district level officials, including the president, vice president, secretary, deputy secretary, treasurer, organizing secretary and one youth representative and all elected and nominated leaders will constitute the Congress National Delegates who will elect national officials.

Other bigwigs fighting for party positions include West Pokot Governor Simon Kachapin, who will take on Senator Julius Murgor for the county chairmanship.