Raila Cleared By IEBC To Vie For The Fifth Time For Presidency

Raila Odinga and his runningmate Martha Karua display the clearance certificate(file photo)
Raila Odinga and his runningmate Martha Karua display the clearance certificate (file photo)

Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Alliance Presidential aspirant Raila Amolo Odinga and his running mate Martha Wangare Karua have been cleared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission- IEBC to vie for the Presidency in the August polls.

Raila who was the twelfth aspirant to appear before the Wafula Chebukati-led Commission became the fifth candidate to be cleared on this fifth day of June 2022, 64 days to the elections.

Odinga and Karua before receiving the clearance certificate they were taken through all the relevant steps and stages at different desks at the Commission sitting at the Bomas of Kenya that shall be the national tallying center for the Presidential election.

At the end of the verification exercise the duo arrived at the chairman’s desk whereby he confirmed and announced that the documents presented were credible hence affirmed that the two are now qualified to run for Presidency in the forthcoming elections.

Odinga and Karua as they appeared before IEBC officials to present their papers
Odinga and Karua as they appeared before IEBC officials to present their papers

“I hereby approve the nomination of Raila Odinga as Presidential candidate for the elections slated for August this year,” said Chebukati amid cheers from the supporters and troops of Odinga who accompanied him.

After approval Chebukati handed the certificate to Odinga and Karua as the crowd cheered and sung in praise of the seasoned politician who is giving the Presidency a fifth attempt after vying unsuccessfully in 1997, 2007, 2013 and 2017.

When given chance to speak just like his sworn opponent Deputy President William Ruto, he said that Kenyans at large and himself have confidence in IEBC holding this year’s elections but urged the Commission to live to the script and deliver the polls to the expectations of Kenyans.

“We have confidence in IEBC to deliver this year’s election in a free and fair manner and live to the expectations of Kenyans,” said Odinga.

However, he assured the Commission that together with his team of Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Alliance shall conduct their campaigns in a peaceful manner adhering to the regulations of the Commission’s electoral laws and the constitution of Kenya.

“I would like to assure that my team will conduct peaceful campaigns and adhere to all the laid down electoral laws and the Constitution of Kenya to ensure we have a peaceful election,” Raila added.

At the same time Odinga defended media houses saying that they have freedom of expression to critic, oppose or vilify but urged that they should do so objectively.

He said that he has been in politics long enough and understands what the media is mandated to do through freedom of expression which he said it should not be condemned.

“We would like the media to work in an objective manner although we know that they have the right of freedom of expression and my long experience in politics has taught me that the media can condemn, vilify or oppose but you cannot oppose that,” Odinga added.

After making the comments, Odinga went ahead to table ten issues that he wanted the IEBC to act or respond on.

The issues ranged from the transmission of the results from the Constituencies, County tallying centers to the national tallying center, the credibility of the voters register among others that he wanted the Commission through the chairman Chebukati to respond to.

But when Chebukati rose to make his comments he said that the Commission had noted all the issues raised by Odinga and has all the answers and responses but he could not respond on them in that forum because they still had more candidates to be cleared.

“I am happy you’ve raised these issues here and I assure you that the Commission has noted them and we have all the answers and responses but we shall respond to them in the right forum when we are done with this exercise of clearing Presidential aspirants,” the chairman told Odinga and his troops.

He further assured that the Commission was up to the task to deliver free, fair and credible elections to Kenyans on August 9 2022.

“I want to assure Kenyans that the Commission is committed to deliver a free, fair and credible election in August because that is what these Commissioners and staff have been preparing for in the last four years,” Chebukati assured.

So far, the Commission has cleared five candidates including Walter Mongare, Professor George Wajackoya, David Mwaure Waihiga, Dr. William Ruto and Raila Odinga.