Fresh headache for Raila, Ruto to name deputies as IEBC sets April 28 deadline

Fresh headache for Raila, Ruto to name deputies as IEBC sets April 28 deadline

Former Prime Minister and the opposition leader Raila Odinga, together with Deputy President William Ruto have a big task ahead to name their running mates as the deadline looms.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has already set April 28, 2022, for all presidential aspirants to nominate their surrogates.

Politicians allied to the two factions have been speculating on the possible running mate, with the Wiper leader Kalonzo Muyoka’s entourage who joined the Azimio La Umoja coalition proving a fresh headache for Odinga.

They are demanding that Azimio must consider Kalonzo as the best suiter for the post.

On the other hand, the Kenya Kwanza faction has also experienced tantrums from various allied legislatures, with ANC Party leader Musalia Mudavadi’s side led by Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala maintaining that they must have one from the vote-rich region, western.

This even as Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua said that Ruto’s running mate must come from the central region, better known as the Mt. Kenya bloc.

“One of the things we had discussed with him is that whatever we had agreed earlier cannot change drastically to the disadvantage of the Mt Kenya People because the new friends have come,” Gachagua said during an interview on KTN News on Sunday.

“What I am saying, in short, is that the Mt Kenya region should get the running mate slot”

The deadline, which is six days after conclusion of party primaries, applies to presidential candidates as well as contestants for other seats who will have been nominated by their parties.

“The names of both principal and running mate are sent together. They are one package,” Owiye told the Nation.

On Odinga’s side, the front runners are Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka. He deputised Odinga in the 2013 and 2017 elections. The 2013 presidential candidates Peter Kenneth and Martha Karua as well as Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya stand as possible running mates.

The Azimio One Kenya spokesperson Prof Makau Mutua has already put up factors that would lead to the selection of Odinga’s running mate.

These include integrity, ability to gel with the principal, the numbers the candidate is likely to bring to the coalition, and a ticket that reflects the face of Kenya irrespective of what their opponents do.

“We are focusing on all regions and since women and girls also constitute the largest percentage of Kenyans, obviously we will be considering female candidates as well,” said Prof Mutua who spoke to the Nation.

The latest entrant of National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, who dropped his presidential bid has spelled extra doom in the Kenya Kwanza faction on the possible running mate for Ruto.

Until then, it remains to be seen who would best suit either side as the running mate ahead of the August 9, 2022 general election.

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Lawrence Baraza is a prolific writer with competencies in Digital Media, Print, and Broadcast. Baraza is also a Communication Practitioner currently spearheading Digital content on Metropol TV's Digital Desk.

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