Leaders in Mandera have formed a new party for fear of being rigged out of Jubilee Party nominations.
On Sunday, the leaders launched the Economic Freedom Party with the blessings of the powerful Garre Council of Elders. More than 500,000 residents cheered as it was launched at the Geneva Stadium, Mandera.
Hassan Noor Hassan led many MCAs and aspirants into defecting from JP and they exuded confidence of being elected under the party.
Noor, a long-serving administrator, said the party has already been registered and members will now move in all subcounties to make it popular.
Elders chose Hassan to run for governor on the EFP ticket against incumbent Ali Roba, who is expected to run on the JP ticket.
Area elders faulted JP for favouring Roba for a direct ticket. He is said to be a close ally of Deputy President William Ruto.
Roba, who had been asked to drop his bid in favour of Hassan, wants all aspirants to contest in primaries.
Senator Billow Kerrow, who was absent at the Sunday launch, has maintained that the elders' choice is the people's choice and they should be given direct nominations.
He said Roba would manipulate nominations in his favour.
Elders did not name the presidential aspirant of EFP.
The county supported largely supported the Jubilee alliance in the March 4, 2013 polls, with all the six MPs and majority of the MCAs being elected on the URP ticket.
Roba dismissed the elders’ decision barring him from running for a second term, while Kerrow abided by their decision barring him from reelection.
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