President Uhuru Kenyatta accompanied by his deputy William Ruto address the media. PHOTO/PSCU
By ABDULHAKIM SHERMAN
President Kenyatta has apologised to Jubilee supporters and aspirants over the party’s failed primaries that resulted in massive protests and threats of defections in 21 counties.
“To the millions of party faithful who turned out to vote, and to the thousands of party aspirants who turned out to compete for party tickets, we unreservedly apologise for our under-preparedness for the magnitude of the nominations exercise,” he said.
The head of state said he would ensure Jubilee Party delivers on its promise for transparent, fair, and credible primaries.
“I urge all party members to keep the faith. We assure you that the Jubilee Party will deliver on its promise for a transparent, fair, and credible Primary,”
He blamed the chaotic Jubilee Party primaries on ‘massive turnout’ although it is clear that there is available data on registered voters in each polling station countrywide.
“Yesterday was unprecedented for the Jubilee Party. While the party was prepared for a normal Party Primary, we were confronted by a full scale general election in terms of the sheer massive turnout we all witnessed,” he said.
President Kenyatta added that Jubilee Party is committed to free, fair, transparent and credible nominations, which he said the party has repeatedly stated must reflect the will of the people.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto accompanied by Jubilee Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju and chairman of the Election Board.. PHOTO/PSCU
“Because of this commitment, we also took another unprecedented and difficult decision to cancel the entire nominations exercise, because doing anything to the contrary may have resulted in a subversion of the democratic will of the people,” he said.
The president said the cancellation of the nominations even affected counties like Laikipia, West Pokot, Tharaka Nithi, Nyandarua and Taita Taveta, where voting had largely been completed with the support and cooperation of aspirants.
He said the party leadership and the National Elections Board was now remapping the entire process to address all the shortcomings experienced.
He added that a detailed revised primaries timetable will be issued by the party headquarters today, in accordance with the IEBC timelines.
“I assure you personally that, as we move forward, we will learn from our mistakes, and have taken corrective measures to ensure that they are not repeated,” he emphasized.