Nairobi – Orange Democratic leader Raila Odinga has urged the Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission to avoid bypassing the issue of early campaigns by nominating the political candidates involved.
“Go tell IEBC President Wafula Chebukati to name the people and not just make foolish allegations and make sure they take responsibility for them if they exist,” Raila said on Tuesday.
When asked if his political tours to Azimio la Umoja are in fact premature campaigns for the 2022 presidential race since he promised various interventions if he were elected president, Odinga vehemently denied.
“I don’t know where it came from. Azimio la Umoja’s tours are consultations with the people of Kenya, and I don’t know how this can be interpreted as campaigns,” Odinga said.
Despite having fully branded campaign vehicles and having received delegations to support his ambitions for 2022, Odinga insisted, “we don’t even have a candidate,” referring to his party. ODM.
Odinga accused other aspiring politicians involved in the first hypocritical campaigns on the issue when they were questioned by the public.
“You know that and I don’t know why the media can’t call a spade a spoon not a big spoon. This hypocrisy is what leads the country astray – people don’t want to tell the truth,” he said. .
Odinga’s statement came a day after Vice President William Ruto denied claims he was engaged in early campaigns.
While answering a question from a reporter after chairing a meeting of the Intergovernmental Economic and Fiscal Council (IBEC) at his Karen residence on Monday, Ruto said his national meetings are not campaigns but meeting tours to research and understand their perspectives on the execution of government projects.
“I have not started the campaigns because the campaign period has not yet been announced by IEBC. What you have seen me do is do what my mandate is: talk to people, understand their problems, assess the extent of our government programs on how far they are and receive feedback of the public, ”said Ruto.
Ruto’s remarks referred to a statement released by IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati on November 19. Chebukati had raised concerns about the first ongoing campaigns in the country and warned politicians to wait for the campaign window declaration.
In a statement, Chebukati said some politicians and wannabes had stepped up their campaigns outside the legally prescribed period.
“The commission is empowered by law to regulate campaigns from the start of the election period, as set out in the electoral operations plan (EOP),” Chebukati said.
The electoral body said it was within its powers to regulate campaigns by publishing the notice of general election to mark the start of the election period.
Ruto and Odinga are seen as the leaders of the 2022 race, the latter enjoying the support of senior government officials following a 2018 pact with President Uhuru Kenyatta. Odinga is expected to officially declare his candidacy for the presidency on December 9.
Ruto, on the other hand, is campaigning under his United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party after falling out of favor with the ruling Jubilee Party which is keen to forge a pre-election alliance with the ODM in Odinga.