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ALBERT KASEMBELI: Ruto in tricky situation picking running mate – The Star, Kenya

Deputy President William Ruto is, it would seem, in a straight jacket regarding the choice of his running mate.
This is a man whose UDA party was built on the basis of the Mt Kenya franchise. He is faced with the question of whether to pick a deputy from Mt Kenya region or not.
Let us not forget that most of his allies from Mt Kenya have sacrificed a lot in terms of time and perhaps finances to put together what UDA is today. In the event he does not pick somebody from Mt Kenya, there will be a backlash.
But at the same time, he created UDA on the basis that it would be a national party.
Ruto has now brought onboard politicians such as ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and his Ford Kenya counterpart Moses Wetang’ula, which complicates his situation even further.
The question is whether Mudavadi is going to play second fiddle to anybody except Ruto.
The situation has also exposed Mudavadi and Wetang’ula as well. The decision by Ruto to team up with the two was partly on the account of the number of MPs they had.
It seems the two did not consult their MPs before making the move and for this reason, they have lost a number of legislators. This has certainly weakened their bargaining power in the alliance.
All in all, Ruto is in a tricky situation. I do not think Ruto is alone in facing this problem.
ODM leader Raila Odinga is in a similar fix. Where will Raila pick a deputy if not from Mt Kenya region?
In the event the two do not pick a deputy from Mt Kenya, there will be a thunderous  political fallout.
Ruto had banked on getting Mt Kenya as a bloc but that may not happen.
If he does not pick from Mt Kenya, chances are he will lose lots of support.
He is also gambling with the Luhya vote though traditionally Raila has been widely supported in Western.
It, therefore, means Ruto has to be very careful when picking his running mate.
Political analyst Albert Kasembeli spoke to the Star 
(Edited by V. Graham)
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