When reports that Former Tac Tutor George Rop had announced his candidacy hit the airwaves,this send other candidates to the drawing boards and into closed-door consultations.
He appeared to enjoy the bounce as those who had been tipped to be on the race withdrew and threw their weight behind him. It is said his close friends Abraham Tanui, DC John Mesis, Stanley Kosgey and Chief Pharmacist Dr Kipkerich Kosgey had been rumoured to be on the contest but instead opted to drop their bids and support him.
Though previously unknown beyond the teaching fraternity he has in the recent past cut the image of a real politician.His past record as an activist pushing for education reform gives the 52-year old soft spoken an added advantage.
He has also carved out a clear advantage in his Tulwet region as favourable ratings shows middle class and the poor identify with him. He furthermore has a big and difinite advantage following the withdrawal of James Letting who is said to have opted to back him.
His oratorical prowess also pits him higher as other aspirants dread sharing a platform with him as he can easily outshine you due to his language fluency and authority in public speaking.His candidacy resonates positively across the board as he represents a new crop of leadership that is seen to understand the peoples problems and is also said to be relatively easily accessible.
“Eldoret South and in particular Kesses is running on an expired vision with the electorate already hopeless.There is a lot of despair which has largely been as a result of a leadership problem. I want to bring a new taste to leadership,” says George Rop.
His major shortcoming is the lack of funding and this is supported by the fact that he has not visited most parts of the constituency. While other candidates are heavily moneyed George Rop is ill equiped financially and this is his biggest obstacle. “This is a big disadvantage as to conduct campaigns one needs mobility,” pointed Eldoret based political analyst Dr Kiplagat Kwambai.
In the recent days, Rop has repeatedly been called upon to move out to regions like Chagaiya, Cheptiret and Racecourse by his supporters but without funds he won’t afford mobility and time seems to be running out on him.
While he has benefited from the advantage of being the dominant candidate in his region,including his ability to articulate policies,he could experience a downfall if he doesn’t mangage to visit outside regions to popularise his candidature.
He is however said to be in total control of the teachers vote as he has asked them to give him an opportunity to show that teachers are good leaders and redeem the image of the teaching fraternity.
Rop also tops in social media platform. He engages his supporters actively on Facebook and Twitter. He is also said to be politically neutral and doesn’t engage in negative politics. He recently caused laughter when he requested his fellow aspirant Julius Limo to vote for him.The two had shared a platform at a local function.
His humility and humble backgrouds adds to his strength and to top it up is the fact that he comes from a large region that has not produced an MP.
A critic says Rop is not an aggresive campaigner.He said if Rop was to duplicate the campaigns he conducted in the months of July and August he would easily get a win but so far he has not come out to vigorously campaign.
Three months before the nomination and despite all his shortcomings George Rop appears well placed. In Eldoret monthly polls, Rop was rated second after former MP David Koros.It’s rumoured he has attracted the attention of political financiers who are watching keenly on whom to invest their cash on.
Political observers say Rop is a force to reckon with but if he doesn’t come out to campaign beyond his region time could run out on him.
The writer Kimutai Korir is a Moi University Law graduate and a Political email@example.com