Deputy President William Ruto reaped big during his three-day tour of the Coast when opposition MPs pledged to support his quest for the presidency.
Coast Parliamentary Group chairman Suleiman Dori (ODM), said the leaders would defy threats from the opposition and campaign for Mr Ruto.
The Msambweni MP accused ODM of double standards.
He said the party should first act on deputy party leader Hassan Joho who met Kanu chairman Gideon Moi and announced they would join forces.
Mr Ruto has been at the Coast five times since President Uhuru Kenyatta and Mr Raila Odinga’s handshake on March 9.
He has visited Mombasa, Kilifi, Kwale, Tana River and Taita-Taveta counties.
The DP, who was in Kwale on Tuesday before returning on Saturday for a three-day tour of Kilifi, Kwale and Mombasa has cashed on the handshake to turn the Coast political tide in his favour.
1.7 MILLION VOTES
The Uhuru-Raila union has also destabilised the opposition, with two camps — one headed by Mr Joho and the other by Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi — battling it out for the control of the region’s 1.7 million votes.
The two governors have declared interest in the country’s presidency when their terms end in 2022.
While Mr Joho is keen on vying on an ODM ticket, Mr Kingi says he will form a party.
The Kilifi governor has ruffled feathers in the opposition by working with Mr Ruto’s allies, including Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa.
Yesterday, Mr Dori, Matuga MP Kassim Tandaza (ANC), Kinango’s Benjamin Tayari (ODD) and Ali Mbogo of Kisauni (Wiper) said they would mobilise their supporters to back Mr Ruto.
“Ruto is the frontrunner and the right candidate for the top seat,” Mr Tayari said.
Mr Mbogo said the region has benefited greatly from the Jubilee administration.
“Sixteen roads are being built in my constituency yet I was elected on an opposition party ticket,” Mr Dori said.
Mr Tandaza said anyone opposed to the leaders’ support for the government “is an enemy of development”.
Mr Ruto said he is committed to working with Coast leaders “for the sake of development”.
“What is important for the 45 million Kenyans is development and that is what we will do,” the DP said.