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September 25, 2017

Isaac Rutto joins NASA as fifth principal, promises Jubilee hard time in polls

Kanu secretary general Nick Salat, Bomet Governor Isaac Rutto, ODM leader Raila Odinga, Wiper’s Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi of ANC and Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula in Bomet town, February 5, 2017. /FELIX KIPKEMOI
Kanu secretary general Nick Salat, Bomet Governor Isaac Rutto, ODM leader Raila Odinga, Wiper’s Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi of ANC and Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula in Bomet town, February 5, 2017. /FELIX KIPKEMOI

Bomet Governor Isaac Rutto has joined NASA after several months of anticipation, becoming the Opposition coalition's fifth principal.

The others are Raila Odinga (ODM), Moses Wetang'ula (Ford Kenya), Musalia Mudavadi (ANC) and Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper).

Rutto announced the move at a meeting with teachers' union representatives and more than 1,500 elders from Bomet and Kericho.

The Chama Cha Mashinani leader said he took the decision after a series of consultations with supporters.

"We have held discussions and are all in agreement to join the National Super Alliance," he said on Tuesday after the meeting at Centre for Devolved Governance grounds in Bomet town.

"We will sign a binding agreement with the coalition's co-principals," he continued, adding the elders agreed to rally behind him.

The Governor's entry is likely to change the Opposition's plans amid a process for the selection of the flag bearer to face President Uhuru Kenyatta on August 8.

He was elected under URP which was dissolved when more than 11 parties merged to form Uhuru and Deputy President William Ruto's Jubilee Party.

On April 12, Rutto promised CCM would back NASA and that the general election will be a fierce battle.

He hit out at Uhuru and Ruto, emphatically stating they don’t deserve a second term. He further accused them of undermining South Rift leaders.

More on this: Rutto party in deal with NASA, Raila to attend rally at Bomet

Rutto said he has struck a pre-election deal with NASA principals that will guide their political marriage into and after the general election.

The NASA flag bearer issue is yet to be resolved and there has been speculation that the coalition is headed for a nose-dive.

This followed ultimatums by a section of Wiper members that they will opt out of the process if Kalonzo is not handed the ticket.

But Raila, Kalonzo, Mudavadi and other NASA luminaries have maintained that they will be united to the end.

During a rally in Western at the weekend, Wetang'ula said their bid is not about positions but to "save Kenyans from the Jubilee excesses".

NASA's rallying call is to reduce the high cost of living, fight corruption, entrench devolution and address historical injustices.

The principals were expected to hold a retreat in Mombasa on Tuesday to decide who the flag bearer will be but the meeting did not take place.

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