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Jubilee to use negotiated democracy to pick candidates in hotly- contested areas

President Uhuru Kenyatta-led Jubilee party is planning to use negotiated democracy to pick candidates for hotly-contested seats.

Secretary general Jeremiah Kioni announced on Wednesday that party leaders at the national and county levels are already engaged in talks over how negotiated democracy will be carried out.

“We did not have negotiated democracy in the past, and many people within the party are discussing it. Once done, issuance of certificates will commence,” he said.

Negotiated democracy refers to the practice of agreeing how to distribute political positions in advance of an election.

The term became popular following the introduction of devolution in 2010.

Political and community leaders in some of the counties, particularly in northern Kenya decided to come to pre-election agreements about the distribution of seats between rival ethnic groups.

Kioni clarified that no direct tickets have been issued to any political contender in any elective seat or place yet.

Jubilee has been working overdrive to roar back to life after suffering from a mass walk-out of members led by Deputy President William Ruto, who are now in United Democratic Alliance (UDA).

Jubilee has also noted that it will be open to zoning within the Azimio la Umoja–One Kenya Alliance to ensure the coalition party wins a majority of the seats.

Addressing a press conference, Kioni said the party is keen to go through a nomination exercise “devoid of what transpired in 2017.”

“The people who left the party are the ones who occasioned the difficulties that we went through in 2017,” he said.

Kioni said party officials and members have shown willingness to embrace negotiated democracy.

“The method will give us the best candidates. We are sitting down with aspirants and discussing. It may take a while but that is the road we want to take since we do not want to divide our votes,” he added.

“We will not allow them to pass in between us. That is why we are talking,”

The method, which is also referred to as mediated elections, is seen to reduce the stakes of the election and hence the prospects for ethnic violence.

The rate at which negotiated democracy has been embraced in Northern Kenya has seen other regions wanting to try it.

Some leaders have said it should be embraced at the national level as a way of deterring divisive elections

Jubilee Party plans to conduct its party nomination between April 11 and April 22.

The ruling party is however yet to release a schedule for a staggered nomination exercise within the slated dates.

Last month, Jubilee cleared Richard Ngatia for nomination in the Nairobi governor’s contest. Ngatia, who is the Kenya National Chambers of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) president, was cleared on March 18 but has not been given the ticket.

Nairobi Governor Ann Kananu and businesswoman Agnes Kagure are also eyeing the Jubilee ticket.

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