President William Ruto has revealed that the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) will be organizing internal party elections in December. This declaration was made during the inauguration of a UDA regional office in Nyeri. If the elections go as planned, the UDA will become the first political party to hold such elections since the introduction of the Political Parties Act in 2011.
Past attempts by other parties have faced challenges. For instance, the Orange Democratic Party (ODM), led by opposition leader Raila Odinga, almost successfully carried out internal elections in 2014. However, the process was interrupted by unidentified individuals who disrupted the event. Similarly, in 2016, the Jubilee party’s efforts to organize elections were only realized at the county level. The process was plagued by disputes and aggression, with allegations that elected officials manipulated the elections.
Ruto assured UDA supporters that their elections will be transparent and impartial. He emphasized the need for candidates to engage with members as no positions will be handed over without a contest. The President stressed that the objective of these elections is to diminish tribal biases and to reinforce the party’s national character. He asserted that the elections would be in line with the party’s principles, ensuring representation from all regions.
UDA’s Secretary General, Cleophas Malala, stated that their goal is to make UDA the dominant political force in Kenya. Malala also announced that seven out of the 14 parties that allied with UDA have dissolved their structures to integrate into the ruling party. Despite this momentum, there remains resistance from coalition partners such as the Amani National Congress (ANC) and Ford Kenya. Both have recently reiterated their intention to remain independent. Nevertheless, UDA leaders are encouraging these parties to merge with UDA to strengthen the coalition.
Kiharu MP, Ndindi Nyoro, emphasized that a robust party system is essential for governmental stability and urged coalition members to unite under the UDA banner.
Meanwhile, UDA’s Legal Affairs Secretary, Edward Muriu, mentioned that all elected officials are permitted to participate in the upcoming grassroots elections. He clarified that Members of Parliament would retain their positions in the National Delegates Council, but all National Executive Council positions are open for contest.
This announcement from UDA follows a recent declaration by ODM’s National Executive Committee about their intent to organize grassroots elections next year.