The Wiper party has suspended campaigns for the Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga until the issue of the running mate is conclusively ‘made in their favor.’
The Wiper allies further said they will pull their representative from the panel and that the former vice-president will not undergo a vetting process as the Azimio’s search for Raila’s presidential running mate begins.
To ensure the former Foreign Affairs minister Kalonzo Musyoka is handed the number two slot, Kalonzo’s foot soldiers on Tuesday, May 3, will pull their representative Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua from the selection panel that is today set to start interviewing candidates.
“Our stand remains the same. That no Kalonzo, no votes for Raila. We have also advised Kalonzo not to appear before the panel because there is nothing about the former Vice-President that Raila does not know,” Makueni MP Daniel Maanzo, a hardliner in the Wiper party, told the People Daily Newspaper.
According to Maanzo, the seven-member panel tasked to search Raila’s running mate is a face-saving entity to hoodwink Kenyans that the exercise is transparent yet “the head-hunt is meant to rig out Kalonzo.”
“If anyone is still thinking that Kalonzo will take up any other position other than that of Deputy President, he or she is daydreaming. What matters at the moment are the two million votes that Raila will either get if he nominates Kalonzo, or will lose if he bypasses him,” Maanzo said.
However, Azimio’s Executive Committee Secretary-General Junet Mohammed maintained that failure by the Wiper leader to appear before the selection panel would be deemed as withdrawal from the contest.
This comes at a time the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission extended the deadline for presidential hopefuls to March 16, to present their running mates.