The race to succeed Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago has taken a new dimension following call by political power brokers for negotiated democracy.
The push for negotiated democracy in picking Mandago’s successor is being championed by Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi. Sudi is among the key players in the succession matrix in the county having played a major role in the re-election of Mandago against all odds.
During a recent event, the vocal lawmaker argued that since the larger Eldoret North(Soy and Turbo constituencies) will he producing the President- in the anticipated ascension of Deputy President William Ruto to the top seat- then they should forego the county seat in favour of Eldoret South(Kapseret and Kesses).
In his argument, Sudi pointed out that in the advent of devolution, Eldoret North took the Governor, Senate and Women Rep seat and in the second term they retained the gubernatorial post with Senate and Women Rep seats going to Eldoret East(Ainabkoi and Moiben).
The same line of political thought has long been pushed by gubernatorial contender Ambassador Julius Bitok, who is viewed as going to be the biggest beneficiary of the ‘negotiated democracy’.
The proponents says it is time for South to have a pie of the county cake.
However the proposal has been opposed by a number of contenders for the seat. Last week, Uasin Gishu Speaker David Kiplagat rubbished the proposal which he termed as undemocratic and said the people should be allowed to choose their leaders freely.
According to Kiplagat, the move will deny a chance to the electorate their constitutional right of electing a leader of their choice.
So far the top contender in the race are drawn major from Eldoret North. They include politician Jonathan Bii, Soy MP Caleb Kositany, Speaker Kiplagat, MCA David Sing’oei and Veska Kangogo.
Businessman Bundotich Zedekia Kiprop(Buzeki)and Deputy Governor Daniel Chemno who are also in the race for the seat hail from Eldoret East.
In the event the push for negotiated democracy and regional power play succeeds, it means Ambassador Bitok will have to battle it out with Former Eldoret South MP Peris Simam(Pepea) and Former TSC Commissioner Cleophas Tirop.
Bitok is a close ally of Sudi and is likely to have an edge over the others, in the event of an ‘Eldoret South- only contest’.
The big question is will negotiated democracy be accepted in Uasin Gishu?