Ruto's new formation mustn't give up ideology

In Summary

• President Ruto is reportedly planning to collapse smaller parties into UDA and create an election juggernaut

• In 2016, Jubilee was formed out of the merger of 13 political parties

President William Ruto is reportedly working on building a giant political party ahead of the 2027 election. A number of smaller partner parties will be collapsed into his UDA party.

This is very similar to 2016 when 13 parties merged to form Jubilee ahead of the successful 2017 election.

However Ruto himself identified the flaw in the Jubilee juggernaut when he mobilised in the 2022 election using the 'hustler' narrative. This defeated Jubilee, which was fronting Raila Odinga as its candidate and to whom the state provided maximum support.

Raila lost and Ruto won because Ruto had an ideological message and Raila was perceived as a puppet of the 'deep state' who therefore had lost his previous ideological superiority.

The "hustler" narrative is basically ideological – the poor against the rich like the Labour Party in the UK. This cross-regional ideological appeal was a game changer that broke the old Kenya electoral system of ethnic arithmetic on which previous parties were based.

If Ruto surrenders ideology in his new UDA formation, he risks losing the 2027 election, whether he faces Raila or another candidate.

Quote of the day: "The life and death of everyone is in his own hands – as for us, let us live; what is all the crowd to us?"

The Persian prophet died on March 2, 274

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