Politics

Raila To Name Running Mate At Kamukunji Rally On Sunday

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Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga is likely to name his running mate on Sunday during a rally at Kamkunji Grounds in Nairobi.

Sources on the selection panel say Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua is rated highly.

Multiple sources told the Star that Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth were also recommended to Raila by the panel.

The panel also interviewed governors Charity Ngilu (Kitui), Hassan Joho (Mombasa), Lee Kinyanjui (Nakuru) and Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega) for the running mate position.

Others are Murang’a Woman Representative Sabina Chege, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya and former Emgwen MP Stephen Tarus.

The panel was rating the candidates based on constitutional qualifications, understanding of government, personality, political acumen, compatibility and loyalty to the Azimio presidential candidate.

The marks were also awarded on the candidates’ strategic significance and their views on the anti-graft war and youth unemployment.

“The final decision was reached by averaging the individual contribution of each panelist,” panel chairman Dr Noah Wekesa said.

Nairobi ODM county chairman George Aladwa on Thursday confirmed the ODM boss will lead Azimio leaders and supporters at a mega rally in Kamkunji, Nairobi.

He, however, said the rally is for unveiling the Nairobi Azimio line-up, but those in Raila’s circle said he will use the opportunity to name his deputy.

“There will be a rally in Kamkunji purely for Nairobi leaders to unveil Azimio candidates in Nairobi,” the Makadara MP told the Star on the phone.

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According to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, presidential candidates have up to Monday midnight to submit their names and their running mates for clearance.

On Thursday, the selection panel chaired by former Kwanza MP Wekesa shifted focus to Raila after handing over the names.

The panel, without unpacking its report, told journalists they had dispatched the report to the ODM boss who was away in Malindi for his presidential campaign.

Wekesa said it is now up to Raila to disclose the name, adding that they have played their part in helping the ODM leader narrow down to a suitable candidate.

“The panel wishes to inform the public that it has dispatched its final recommendations to the candidate this morning [Thursday],” he said.

“This follows the inability of the candidate to disengage from the political exercise he is involved in to come to us today to receive the report.”

The former Prime Minister was initially to fly to Nairobi to receive the report.

Wekesa was accompanied by all members of the panel except Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua–Kalonzo’s only representative in the committee–who was conspicuously missing.

But Wekesa downplayed his absence, saying he was engaged in political campaigns for his bid.

“All the members of the panel participated in the exercise and evaluated each and every candidate,” he said.


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