Leading presidential contenders Raila Odinga of the Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya coalition and his Kenya Kwanza counterpart Deputy President William Ruto have 11 days to name their presidential running mate.
In an interview with The Star Newspaper, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Chairperson Wafula Chebukati revealed that the commission expects all presidential candidates to submit the name of their running mate on April 28.
“We expect to know their running mates on the date when they submit names of the nominated candidates…either themselves as independent candidates or through the party, if a political party candidate, this being April 28,” Chebukati told The Star.
The new stand places the both deputy president and the ODM leader in a hard place in the race to identify a suitable bearing ahead of the August polls.
But the recent political happenings indicate that DP Ruto seems to be well prepared to name his number two as compared to the ODM leader.
In the Kenya Kwanza coalition, there is a general consensus that the running mate will come from the Mt Kenya region.
Speaking to the same publication, UDA chairman Johnson Muthama said that the coalition was fully prepared to nominate a candidate for deputy president anytime.
“We have 11 days up to April 28 at 5 o’clock by close of business. A day in politics is like a year and 1,000 years in politics is like one day. We are content with the date,
“We are fully prepared for that and we will give it to Kenyans at the right time. We are not late. We are not squabbling about it like those on the other side. You can see how quiet we are and know we are set.” Muthama said.
Among those likely to be named Ruto’s deputy include Tharaka Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, Mathira MP Rigathi Gachangua, Kandara MP Alice Wahome, and Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro.
But in the Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya coalition there is still pull and push between Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and the Jubilee party over who should deputize Raila Odinga.
The Wiper leader and his allies have given demanded that Kalonzo must deputize the ODM leader in what could easily trigger acrimonious fallout.
In fact, the Azimio team has differed from the IEBC timelines saying by law they have until June 6 to name Raila’s deputy.
Apart from Kalonzo Musyoka, other leaders seen as Raila’s potential running mates include Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua, former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth, Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui, and CS Peter Munya.