Coalition talks between ODM and Jubilee parties are still on in spite of the latter’s dismal performance in recently held by-elections, John Mbadi has said.
The ODM national chairman who also doubles as the National Assembly minority leader said the recent loss in Kiambaa will not deter their ongoing talks.
Out of the 11 mini-polls held since 2018, the President Uhuru Kenyatta-led has managed to win three; Wajir West, Baringo South and Garissa.
Jubilee stood down in favour of ODM in Msambweni, Machakos, Matungu and Kabuchai and lost four in Kibra, Bonchari, Juja and Kiambaa.
But according to the Suba South MP, the Raila Odinga-led party is not banking on the entire Jubilee support base but a fraction of what they enjoy now.
“We do not want the entire number. We just want the numbers which they have at the moment to combine with ours,” averred Mbadi.
“We did not have those numbers before.”
Casting aspersions on Deputy President William Ruto, Mbadi said the win in Kiambaa by a UDA candidate does not translate to him being a force to reckon with.
“It is Juja where they lost badly but they still got numbers that will come into our basket. Muguga they won, even though by a small margin. In Kiambaa, they lost with a small margin, so it is interesting to say that Ruto now controls Mount Kenya. That is not what we call controlling a region,” Mbadi told the Nation.
He further stated that whatever numbers the President brings to the table will be an addition to what Raila already has.
“ODM has its numbers. So if we get numbers from Jubilee whether it is a half, quarter or a third, it does not matter. It will increase our numbers,” he continued.
He declined to give further information on the talks because “it will jeopardise our talks”.
Representing Jubilee will be Vice-chairman David Murathe, Secretary-general Raphael Tuju, National Assembly Majority Whip Emmanuel Wangwe, Igembe North MP Maoka Maore and Samburu West MP Naisula Lesuuda.
Sitting on the opposite side of the negotiating table will be Mbadi, Secretary-general Edwin Sifuna, National Assembly Minority Whip Junet Mohamed, nominated Senator Agnes Zani and Kisii Woman Representative Janet Ong’era.
Merger talks first emerged in June when Junet met with Sifuna, Murathe and Tuju at a Nairobi hotel.
“We met with the Jubilee leadership for lunch to take stock of how we are cooperating. We were discussing bigger issues. Big things are about to happen and we want to make our relationship better,” Junet said in an interview with KTN News.