Leading presidential candidates Raila Odinga of Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya coalition and Deputy President William Ruto of the Kenya Kwanza coalition are still faced with the dilemma of picking a suitable running mate with 7 days to the deadline.
Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission IEBC had given the political parties until May 16 at midnight to present the names of their presidential candidates together with their running mates.
As the deadline first approaches, Kivumbi.co.ke looks at the possible running mate to both the ODM leader and the Kenya Kwanza supremo.
In Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya coalition, Raila Odinga is faced with the dilemma of ensuring he has the backing of the Mt Kenya region without losing out on Ukambani voting.
Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka has insisted that he is the best candidate to deputize the ODM leader even at some point treating to quit the coalition if he is not picked.
Jubilee party on the hand has laid claim on the most after slot saying the Mt Kenya region has many votes that cannot be wished away.
“Facts are stubborn, Mt Kenya gave Uhuruto more than 52% votes in 2013 and 50% in 2017. So whoever is going to be president whether, from Azimio or Kenya Kwanza, you can not afford to ignore Mt Kenya,” Sabina Chege said recently.
To assist help in identifying a suitable partner, Raila established a panel to vet candidates and the panel has settled on eleven individuals whom they will be interviewing.
Those shortlisted are; Kalonzo Musyoka, Peter Kenneth, Sabina Chege, Martha Wangari Karua, Gideon Moi, Ali Hassan Joho, Stephen Kipkiyeny Taurus, Charity Ngilu, Peter Munya, and Wycliffe Oparanya.
But according to political arithmetics, Martha Karua and Kalonzo Musyoka are the leading candidates to be picked as Raila’s candidate, with Sabina Chege likely to be a surprise candidate.
In the Kenya Kwanza alliance, the drama of those jostling for the running mate slot is not as loud as that of Azimio.
There is already a consensus that Deputy President William Ruto will pick a running mate from the vote-rich region of Mt Kenya.
Among those positioning themselves to deputize DP Ruto are, Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua, Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro, Speaker Justin Muturi, Governor Ann Waiguru, and Senator Kithure Kindiki.
The problem DP Ruto is facing is trying to balance the interest of Mt Kenya East and Mt Kenya West political interest.
While Muturi and Kindiki come from Mt Kenya East the race comes from the West which has been perceived to have held the presidency for a long time.
Most political analysts opine that DP Ruto is likely to settle on either Kindiki or Speaker Muturi beating in mind they are the only leaders who are not vying for any elective position in the August polls.
Others have suggested that if Raila settles on Karua or Sabina, then Ruto might be forced to pick Kirinyaga Governor Ann Waiguru as a way of playing gender cards.