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Kenya: Will political realignment season bring a Jubilee-ODM merger?

By Victor Abuso
Posted on Thursday, 1 July 2021 20:28

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta, flanked by deputy president William Ruto and opposition leader Raila Odinga launch the Building Bridges Initiative in Nairobi, Kenya, 27 November 2019. REUTERS/Monica Mwangi

Kenya’s ruling Jubilee Party is in talks with the largest opposition party, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) to form a coalition ahead of the 2022 August general election. It could lead to a joint presidential candidate and/or a merger of the two parties.

President Uhuru Kenyatta leads the Jubilee Party, which has been in power since it was formed in 2013; while the ODM, formed in 2005, is led by veteran opposition chief Raila Odinga.

In recent years, Kenyatta and Odinga have enjoyed political cooperation after they buried their political differences in 2018, following a bitter election the previous year- which was re-run after the supreme court threw out the initial results.

Raphael Tuju, Jubilee’s secretary general, says talks are ongoing between the two political parties, with the aim of reaching a consensus to field a single presidential candidate in 2022.