The URP nomination race is eventually shaping up to a three horse race.The nomination is a crucial stage in that it’s believed North Rift is a URP zone and whoever clinches the party’s ticket already has one leg in the National Assembly since the General election will just be a confirmation procedure as pointed out by Eldoret based political analyst Kirwa Magut.
Currently Hon Peris Simam, Mt. Kenya university science lecturer Silas Kering and former Tac Tutor George Rop have been seen as the probable contestants to carry the day.
Peris Simam who is currently the Member of parliament of the larger Eldoret South is seeking re-election but this time in the smaller Kesses constituency. Her close ties with Eldoret North MP and URP party leader William Rutto gives her an edge over the others. Rutto’s influence can’t be downplayed and even if he doesn’t directly endorse her the mere fact that they have been seen as closely working together can attract Rutto’s followers to her.She also still has staunch supporters who have never changed their political stand,the current court cases on corruption allegations notwithstanding.Her financial strength is also the other additional factor and to top it up is her being an AIC Church member the dominant denomination in the region.The church has always supported their members when it comes to taking up leadership positions. She has also initiated her re-election bid on social media through her facebook fanpage Hon Peris Simam Pepea na Mama Tena 2013.
Silas kering who at first had kept his party of choice a secret has finally come out of the woods to publicly declare URP his vehicle of choice. Kering has been seen as the most favourable candidate among the three aspirants in his home region who can consolidate the homeground vote. He is also popular among the youth as evidenced by his policies which he has majored mostly on youth.He has also engaged in mature politics prefering to stick just to policies.In addition he is seen as an aspirant with Integrity which will play a keyrole this coming elections. His humble background is the other ingredient in his playbook.
George Rop is also among the favorite candidates to clinch the URP party ticket. He is seen as mature and this is evident in his campaigns where he has stuck to solely selling his policies. His policies has also been seen as realistics and based on the people’s needs. Furthermore in his track record he has always delivered and thus considered a performer. He is also known for his humility and is said to be full of Integrity. Rop has amassed his home support and in a move that took other aspirants by surprise mobolised 7500 voters in Tulwet and neighbouring villages to register as URP members in a drive seen as a move to raise his nomination chances. The other factor is the teachers support which he currently enjoys considering his cordial relationship with the teaching fraternity while he was working at the Inspectorate. He also comes from a large region that has never produced an MP and if the regional card comes to play it will work in his favour. Recently in a regional Worldwide Church function held in Eldoret his Church Bishop who is also the aspiring Senator Baringo Jackson Kosgey asked the church members to support Rop as the church would like to have their own in leadership positions. The church has a large number of members from the Kikuyu community and this may be a boost to Rop.
Most of the aspirants who engaged in premature campaigns have since faded off and as Magut hinted,in politics you have to be tactical. “Politics is not hundred metre dash,it’s a marathon and the pace keeps changing,” added Magut. This is true considering some aspirants like Maritim Rirei, Gilbert Tenai and Jonathan Birgen tried the hundred-metre dash but politics being a marathon they developed a muscle pull which forced them to drop out of the race or fade off to the backstage.
The way things stand, the battle will be a three horse race between Simam, Kering and Rop.
The writer Kimutai Korir is a Moi University Law graduate and currently actively participates in analysing Kesses Politicsfirstname.lastname@example.org.