The race for Kenya’s fifth president officially began with the clearance of Kenya Kwanza Alliance presidential candidate William Ruto and Azimio-One Kenya presidential candidate Raila Odinga for the August 9 elections.
The electoral agency has cleared the two leading contenders for the seat, paving the way for a two-month campaign frenzy that will climax in a national vote.
Wafula Chebukati, the head of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), is likely to officially raise concerns about the start of the presidential campaign today after finishing with businessman Jimi Wanjigi, the last presidential aspirant to seek IEBC approval.
“The documentations are in order and I approve the nomination of Raila Odinga as a presidential candidate in the August 9 elections,” Chebukati stated when Raila submitted himself to the Kenyan Bomas yesterday.
Raila was joined by his running mate, Martha Karua, and a slew of Azimio-One Kenya high-ranking officials, including Wiper party head Kalonzo Musyoka.
Raila is expected to release his manifesto today.
Ruto’s running mate, Rigathi Gachagua, was also cleared, and the two will be included on the ballot under the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), a Kwanza Alliance associate party.
As their campaign for votes enters the last 63 days, the presidential candidates will be putting their best foot forward.
Raila and Ruto have proved over the last two years that they are willing to go above and beyond to outdo each other in the race for more than half of the more than 22 million voters registered for this year’s elections.
A victorious candidate must receive at least 50 per cent plus one vote out of all votes cast, according to the Constitution.
The DP has vowed ‘a campaign like no other’ in keeping with this promise of and to do battle between the two allies-turned-rivals.
“You haven’t seen anything like a campaign yet. After today, you will see what you have never seen because we must liberate this country, we must get this country from the hostage of a few people. We must get this country out of the conflict of interest and State capture,” said Ruto on Saturday.
The two frontrunners have a fervent following across the country, with Ruto’s “hustler nation” catchphrase recently endearing him to teenagers and people in the informal economy.
He has identified himself as a hustler who ascended from poor beginnings in Uasin Gishu to the second most powerful position in the land since becoming President Uhuru Kenyatta’s deputy after their victory in 2013.
Ruto has long claimed he hustled his way to fortune, and he asked his followers to perceive him as one of them, despite working in many high-profile capacities, including as a cabinet minister between 2008 and 2011 and held top party portfolios before that.
This year, thanks to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s 2018 ‘Handshake,’ Raila will make his fifth try with the backing of the State apparatus, which he claims has been missing in his prior attempts.
Raila has also secured the backing of the Azimio-One Kenya, he has so far shown confidence in battle royal Raila: Despite vilifying the IEBC in previous polls and even missing the rerun presidential elections on October 26, 2017, Raila expressed faith in battle royal Raila: Some people are pumping their chests, oblivious to what is about to happen.
A strong wind is currently forming, which will shortly turn into a tsunami. Ruto: “You have never seen anything like this before. After today, you will witness things you have never seen before because we must free this country from the clutches of a few people in the electoral agency,”