- ODM's parliamentary strength was among key factors that worked for the party.
- They however indicated that they will remain open to any engagement with the other opposition parties.
Jubilee’s top decision-making organs on Tuesday approved a pre-election deal with ODM as details emerged on the intrigues preceding the coalition.
The Star has learnt Jubilee preferred ODM after a technical evaluation of the four opposition parties—ODM, Wiper, ANC and Ford Kenya.
The parties’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats were closely scrutinised alongside parliamentary presence, all of which favoured the Raila Odinga-led party.
“In politics, it's the numbers that matter. It was self-evident that of the four parties, ODM has the strongest grassroots presence," a Jubilee insider told the Star.
ODM's parliamentary strength was among the key factors that worked for the party.
ODM boasts 94 MPs in the bicameral Parliament, followed by Kalonzo Musyoka’s Wiper with 27 members in both Senate and National Assembly.
Musalia Mudavadi’s ANC has 17 MPs, while Ford Kenya has 14 lawmakers.
Raila’s party controls 13 counties compared to Kalonzo’s Wiper, which managed only two governors—Makueni and Taita Taveta—in the last election.
Moses Wetang’ula’s Ford Kenya has only Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati who has since fallen out with the party’s leadership.
Musalia Mudavadi’s ANC on the other hand has no governor.
On Tuesday, Jubilee’s top decision-making organs—the National Management Committee and parliamentary leadership—acting on the evaluation report, gave the party’s secretariat a go-ahead to ink a coalition deal with ODM.
They, however, indicated that they will remain open to any engagement with the other opposition parties even as they work on a pre-election deal with the Orange party.
“Following various high-level consultations within the Jubilee Party that culminated in a joint NMC and parliamentary leadership meeting this morning, the NMC granted permission to the party secretariat to formally engage with ODM party in drawing a framework agreement on a pre-election coalition agreement,” Tuju said in a statement.
“With this decision, the Jubilee Party will be formally be writing to its coalition partner Kanu as is required by our coalition agreement and etiquette about this development and to seek their constructive engagement on the same.”
Tuju also noted that they will be writing to Kalonzo’s Wiper—with which Jubilee has a co-operation agreement—about the new development.
The Tuesday morning meeting was attended by Tuju, vice chairman David Murathe, National Assembly Majority leader Amos Kimunya and Majority Whip Emmanuel Wangwe.
Also present were Jubilee parliamentary group secretary Adan Keynan, Senate Deputy Majority leader Fatuma Dullo, among other party officials.
The leaders also resolved to reach out to both ANC and Ford Kenya for engagements aimed at having an inclusive political formation as the country heads to the polls.
Tuju said the resolution is informed by the already good collaboration between the two parties in Parliament on matters of national interest.
“The two party leaders—President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga—have also cultivated a working relationship for the good of the country in an act of statesmanship that has won praise internationally,” he said.