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Big blow to DP Ruto as 300 URP members decamp to ODM

11 November 2015, 08:13 Arap Yego

Nairobi - Over 300 disgruntled members of the William Ruto led United Republican Party (URP) from Elgeyo Marakwet on Tuesday defected to Orange Democratic Movement(ODM).

The defectors who accused URP of lacking vision and failing to live up to the Democratic ideals it was founded on, were received at the ODM ORANGE House headquarters in Nairobi by party leader Raila Odinga and Secretary General Hon Ababu Namwamba.

“We have been left in the cold at URP. We are tired of dictatorship. Our hope now lies in the former Prime Minister Raila Odinga,” said Jacob Lagat, the leader of the group from Elgeyo Marakwet.

Lagat and Youth Leader Kiprop Marimoi explained that their Marakwet community had been neglected by URP, and they do not want to be partyless since URP top leadership recently announced that it will be dissolved by December to form Jubilee alliance.

Read Also: URP has lost support in Rift Valley, says Moi

Raila Odinga and the ODM officials welcomed the defectors and urged them to prevail upon their kinsmen to join his party, noting that he will be the next president.   

“I have the interests of the Kalenjin people, where you come from, at heart. We worked together well in 2007, where my victory was stolen and I am happy you have come back home,” he said.

He assured the defectors that he has always had the interests of the Kalenjin community at heart and urged them to come back ‘home’.

The development is a major blow to the Deputy President William Ruto’s URP, whose National Executive Council (NEC) last week endorsed a plan to dissolve it and merge with other Jubilee affiliated parties ahead of the coming general election.

ODM Chairman John Mbadi and Treasurer Ogla Karani, who organized the defections were present.  

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