Sotik MP and Bomet governorship aspirant Joyce Laboso says it was “reckless” for incumbent Isaac Ruto to join the Opposition arguing voters will not follow him.
Dr Laboso who is also the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly accused her opponent of misreading the mood on the ground.
“The residents of Bomet are part of the Jubilee government and are behind President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto, who embody the values of respect and development,” she claimed in a statement.
On Monday, Mr Ruto formally moved his party Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) to the Opposition coalition, National Super Alliance.
He would become the fifth principal after Raila Odinga (ODM), Musalia Mudavadi (ANC), Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper) and Moses Wetang’ula (Ford Kenya) who have led their parties in the nascent alliance.
But Dr Laboso, who will compete against Mr Ruto if she wins in the Jubilee nominations this weekend, trashed the move.
“While it is everyone’s democratic right to join any party or alliance of their choice, it is reckless and unwise to attempt to persuade our people to join the opposition.
“There is neither hope nor future in Opposition – rather (there is only) gloom and despair. Ruto’s decision is grossly out of touch with the aspirations of residents of Bomet County, who understand that you don’t quit government if you want to better your welfare,” she said.
Dr Laboso is Ruto’s strongest challenger for the governorship race, according to latest opinion poll.
The survey by Infotrak published last week showed her just slightly behind Mr Ruto in popularity ratings.
Of the 800 respondents in Bomet, Mr Ruto leads with 38.9 per cent followed by Dr Laboso at 37.7 per cent.
Dr Julius Kones, who will challenge Dr Laboso for the Jubilee ticket, follows the two at 7.3 per cent.
According to this survey, Jubilee was more popular in the county than CCM with every seven in ten people interviewed saying they support the party led by President Uhuru Kenyatta.