Raila Officially Withdraws from Presidential Debate

  • Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua posing for their campaign photos.
    Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua posing for their campaign photos.
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  • Raila Odinga's Campaign Spokesperson Prof Makau Mutua stated that the Azimio flag-bearer will not attend the Presidential Debate.

    In a press statement released on Sunday, July 24, Mutua explained that the demand by UDA candidate William Ruto to have certain issues left out deviated from the purpose of the national debate.

    "That is why he has demanded that the debate not focus on corruption, ethics and governance. These are issues at the core of the Azimio campaign; any debate devoid of these questions will be an insult to the intelligence of Kenyans," he stated.

    Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga during the launch of the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition party manifesto at Nyayo Stadium on June 6, 2022.
    Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga during the launch of the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition party manifesto at Nyayo Stadium on June 6, 2022.
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    Sabina Chege

    Mutua explained that Raila and running mate Martha Karua participating in the debate would only be campaigning for the Kenya Kwanza candidate.

    "It would be a colossal mistake to reward such a person with a national debate. We will not assist his failing campaign; he can explain himself and his poor record to voters without our help," 

    "We plan to take part in a televised town hall at Jericho Social Hall in Nairobi's Eastlands with ordinary Kenyans to offer our solutions to the challenges facing the country and common people," the statement read in part.

    The decision has attracted mixed reactions, with Ruto's allies ridiculing Odinga, claiming he had sensed defeat. 

    "Considering that Rigathi Gachagua obliterated Martha Karua- the Deputy Project, we can all understand why the Project is unable to face the fifth William Samoei Ruto. This game is over.Azimio should just concede defeat instead of fighting IEBC," Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen stated.

    On July 22, Suna East Member of Parliament Junet Mohamed revealed that Azimio was mulling sending Embakasi East lawmaker Babu Owino to face off with Ruto if the debate is not well structured.

    Their demands came after Hussein Mohamed, the Director of Communications in the WSR campaigns issued demands that the organizers of the discussion allocate more time to what they termed as 'relevant' topics.

    Already, Roots Party leader George Wajackoyah stated that he would skip the debate if he is paired with Agano's David Mwaure as second-tier presidential candidates.

    Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, Wajackoyah confirmed that his position had not changed. "I have not changed my mind," he affirmed.

    The debate is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, July 26, with journalists Yvonne Okwara (Citizen TV), Eric Latiff (KTN News), Smriti Vidyarthi (NTV), Ken Mijungu (KTN News ) and Joe Ageyo (NTV) named as moderators.

    UDA Presidential running mate Rigathi Gachagua and Azimio La Umoja Presidential running mate Martha Karua on Tuesday, July 19, during a debate at CUEA.
    UDA Presidential running mate Rigathi Gachagua and Azimio La Umoja Presidential running mate Martha Karua on Tuesday, July 19, during a debate at CUEA.
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