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URP to name candidate in April

Posted by Administrator on January 16, 2012

The United Republican Party associated with Eldoret North MP William Ruto will nominate its presidential candidate in April. Ruto will square it out for the party’s ticket with Trade Minister Chirau Mwakwere and Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo when URP delegates converge at the Bomas of Kenya. The three are the only ones who have expressed interest in running for the presidency using the party ticket but URP says other candidates are welcome to join the party and seek its ticket.

Acting chairman Francis Ole Kaparo yesterday announced that the party will also simultaneously hold its national election and the presidential nomination exercises on April 30. Ruto joined URP after ditching UDM due to wrangles. Before nominating the candidate, URP will conduct grassroots branch elections from March 28 to 31, following a nation-wide recruitment exercise that began yesterday.

Speaking at the launch of URP yesterday, Ruto, Mwakere and Jirongo reaffirmed that they will support whoever will secure the support of the delegates to be the party flag bearer. Indications are that Ruto will be nominated as the sole presidential candidate, while Mwakwere becomes his running mate as Jirongo will be nominated for leader of majority in Parliament.

Mwakere hinted that the URP may go for a compromise where the party luminaries will settle for the presidency, running mate and leader of majority. “For us what is important is not the president, but the presidency that will have a presidential candidate, running mate and leader of majority designate,” the Transport minister said.

He said, the current constitution neutralises the president’s powers and thus gives equal power to the ruining mate and the leader of majority in appointing cabinet secretaries. “The president alone will not appoint cabinet secretaries as this will be done with the recommendation of the majority leader who will nominate the names for the president to appoint,” he said.

Addressing more than 5,000 party supporters who turned up the the Bomas of Kenya for the launch, Ruto expressed optimism that his party would win the next elections. He used the platform to articulate the policies his party will seek to implement, including job creation, education, healthcare, food security and infrastructural development.

Ruto and his allies too took the opportunity to expound on the party’s main platform of family values as a key campaign ideology. He said that the country is under threat from immoral perversions that greatly threaten the fabric of the society. “Our societal fabric is under threat; our family is under attack. Every Kenyan must stand to protect the family from perverse and immoral activities that include drug abuse,” he said. By advocating for strong family ties, the URP says that national development, unity and security will be ensured since the family is the basic unity of the society.

The Eldoret North MP said that URP will give Kenyans a comprehensive medical insurance programme that will ensure that all citizen have access to healthcare. “It is a shame that hundreds of Kenyans continue to die from curable diseases for lack of a healthcare programme,” “The URP will come up with a universal National Health Insurance Fund, that will be funded by both the government and individuals to ensure all Kenyans have accesses to treatment,” he added.

Among the policies that URP will be pushing include double digit economic growth and a youth programme that seeks to generate millions of jobs. “My government will come up with a Youth Marshal Plan that will mainstream participation of the young people in transforming the nation. This country has 70 per cent of its population as youth,” Ruto added.

Another promise is the construction of a standard gauge railway in the first two years of a URP government. Jirongo, who is also the Lugari MP, said corruption has caused the country to stagnate for three decades. He said should URP come to power, corruption would be a thing of the past and the country would experience an economic boom.

Ironically, a Sh500 note was nicknamed ‘Jirongo’ in the 1990s, when the Kanu government minted billions of shillings to fund its re-election campaign, with the Youth for Kanu (YK92) associated with him and other politicians accused of plundering the economy.

Mwakwere explained why he had decided to quit Shirikisho party to join forces with Ruto. “A saying in my native Digo says that if you want to go far, go alone but if you want to go further, go with others,” he said.

Information minister Samuel Poghisio who is also Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka’s Wiper party chairman said Ruto was welcome to join forces with Kalonzo and Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta to form a winning team. Assistant minister Linah Jebii said she was waiting for Parliament’s term to expire before decamping to join the URP.

Source: http://www.the-star.co.ke/national/national/58157-urp-to-nominate-candidate-in-april

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