Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi has said emerging political coalitions should not force smaller political parties to fold up and become part of the bigger formations.
Muturi, who is the Democratic Party presidential flag bearer, said it is a democratic tradition worldwide for political parties to have a home base, or place of origin.
Muturi said political parties with strong bases are the ones best situated to spread out branches across the country and become national.
He added, “Let us not belittle parties calling them tribal, starting from the grassroots is the way democracy starts and grows, but not by intimidating smaller parties to collapse and join the big ones.”
Muturi made the remarks while addressing grassroots delegates of the Democratic Party at Matasia, Kajiado County.
The over 2000 delegates were drawn from all parts of the county.
Muturi was referring to ongoing wrangles rocking the emerging coalitions over pressure being applied on some presidential aspirants to join the big formations and to support pre-determined candidates.
Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka has been in the limelight as he strongly protests a call on him to support Azimio la Umoja aspirant Raila Odinga for the presidency. Kalonzo has argued it should be Raila to support him this time round.
Muturi cited the Democratic Party as an example of an outfit that grew from the grassroots to national stature, after it was founded by Mwai Kibaki and others in 1991, with its stronghold in Mt Kenya region.
He also mentioned ODM, Ford-Kenya, ANC, Wiper, among parties with a home base as well as national presence, saying that asking such parties to fold and join a new collation was a way of killing democracy.
The Speaker said he would now roll out his campaign to different regions of Kenya, after he was endorsed by the Democratic Party two weeks ago as its presidential candidate.