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The Jubilee Party of Kenya is the ruling political party of the Republic of Kenya. The party was founded on 8 September 2016, following the merger of 11 smaller parties. During the 2017 election, the Jubilee Party secured a plurality of seats in Parliament and the party leader, Uhuru Kenyatta, was reelected president. Since January 2019, the party's stability has been threatened by growing infighting.
|Deputy leader||William Ruto|
|Council of Governors leader||Salim Mvurya|
|National Assembly leader||Aden Duale|
|Senate leader||Kipchumba Murkomen|
|Founded||September 7, 2016|
|Headquarters||Jubilee House, Pangani, Nairobi|
|European affiliation||Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe (Regional partners)|
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34 / 67
25 / 47
The party leader is Uhuru Kenyatta, the president of Kenya, and the deputy party leader is William Ruto, the deputy president. The head of the Party Secretariat is Raphael Tuju, a former politician and Member of Parliament for Rarieda Constituency. The officials were named during the party's first National Governing Council (NGC) meeting held at the Bomas of Kenya auditorium, in November 2016. Each of the political parties that merged had elected leaders at different levels of government, as follows:
Membership of the party is acquired by application, recommendation, nomination and registration. On payment of the prescribed fee, a member is issued a membership number in digital form and a smart card. The card is proof of membership and contains the name, identity number and mobile phone number. While the card was intended to prevent fraud during party primaries and nominations before the general election of 2017, those without the card were still able to vote in the primaries if they had a Kenyan identity card.
The Jubilee Party is considered to be the successor of the Jubilee Alliance. The Jubilee Alliance was a political alliance established in January 2013 to support Kenyatta's presidential campaign. Under President Uhuru Kenyatta, the Jubilee Alliance governed through a party coalition. However, the stability of this system was threatened by tribalism and disagreements between parties. In 2016, the Jubilee Alliance's leadership, including President Kenyatta, decided to transition from a coalition government to a single unified party, the Jubilee Party. The new party was formed from the principal members of the Jubilee Alliance's previous coalition, as well as new political parties. These founding parties were:
- Jubilee Alliance Party (JAP)
- Alliance Party of Kenya (APK)
- United Republican Party (URP)
- Grand National Union (GNU)
- New FORD–Kenya (NFK)
- FORD People (FP)
- United Democratic Forum (UDF)
- Chama Cha Uzalendo (CCU)
- Republican Congress (RC)
- The National Alliance (TNA)
- The Independence Party (TIP)
The party merger was made official on 7 September 2016, when all involved parties held their respective National Delegates Conferences (NDC). The new political party was announced to the public at a ceremony held at the Safaricom Kasarani Stadium on 8 September 2016.
2017 General ElectionEdit
The Jubilee Party was one of the primary competitors during Kenya's 2017 general elections. The election was preceded by multiple acts of violence, challenging the lawfulness of the elections. Deputy President Ruto's house was attacked by a single intruder, who killed a guard in the process. In addition, Christopher Musando, a senior election official, was found murdered only a few days before voting began. His death raised concerns, both domestically and abroad, regarding the possibility of electoral fraud.
After months of campaigning, elections were held on 8 August 2017. The Jubilee Party made significant gains in the 2017 General election, winning 140 of 290 parliamentary seats, 25 of 47 County women representatives seats, 24 of 47 senatorial seats, and 25 of the 47 governors. The party's candidate and the incumbent president, Uhuru Kenyatta, won the election by a comfortable margin, receiving 54.2 percent of the total popular vote. The legitimacy of the election results was upheld by a number of international observers, including the African Union, the European Union, and the Commonwealth of Nations. However, the results of the first election were annulled by the Supreme Court of Kenya following a successful petition from the runner-up, Raila Odinga, who questioned the authenticity of the official vote. A second election was held on 26 October, which Odinga boycotted, citing his desire for electoral reform. Opposition protests in Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa were banned by the Jubilee Party in the weeks leading up to the second election. With no formal opposition, the Jubilee ticket received a near unanimous percentage of the vote, ensuring Kenyatta's victory.
Large protests broke out soon after the results of the second round of voting were announced. Protesters suggested that the original election had been rigged by the Jubilee Party, allegations which the government denied. These protests, while far more subdued than the crisis following the 2007 elections, resulted in the deaths of dozens of civilians. According to Amnesty International, at least 33 of these deaths were attributed to Kenyan police.
2019 Party InfightingEdit
In January 2019, the Jubilee Party began to experience a significant amount of political infighting, when interim vice-chairman David Murathe resigned from the party. His resignation was a response to the 2022 Presidential election, which had been the primary focus of party debate. In particular, the Jubilee Party had been internally divided over its support of Deputy President Ruto as the official party candidate. The struggle led to the politicization of government initiatives, resulting in delays in public infrastructure programs, such as dam construction, as well as anti-corruption efforts targeting Ruto. Some experts expressed concerns that the growing schism within the party could reignite ethnic conflict within the Rift Valley region. Mass ethnic violence has occurred in the region previously, in the aftermath of the 2007 election results, during which 650 people were killed, and tens of thousands were internally displaced.
In the following months, the situation within the party worsened. In the aftermath of Murathe's resignation, Secretary-General Tuju announced an expansion in party offices and infrastructure, as well as promising to hold party meetings and elections. However, party leadership was either unable or unwilling to carry out these commitments. As a result of infighting, the Jubilee's Party's position over the nation's politics weakened. The number of party applications skyrocketed, with over 30 parties forming since the 2017 election.
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