Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga was today cleared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission(IEBC) to vie as a presidential candidate in August 9th, 2022 general election.
Raila who was escorted by his supporters who were dancing in jubilation and were eager to witness him presenting papers for clearance as the flag bearer of Azimio la Umoja Party handed over his documents at 10am to the IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati at Bomas of Kenya auditorium.
Speaking after clearance by IEBC in the company of his running mate Martha Karua and other leaders, Raila exuded confidence that the Commission has the capacity to conduct free and fair elections.
Raila stated “I urge you to live by the script and do exactly what the people of Kenya expect of you as a Commission.”
“We promise you that we are going to conduct ourselves as candidates and also as members of our movement in a manner that conforms to the requirements of the electoral laws and the constitution of the Republic of Kenya.”
He said his party’s interest is to see the entire election exercise carried out in a credible manner where Kenyans will be able to freely express their will and speak clearly in an election that has several players.
Raila at the same time urged members of the Fourth Estate to exercise objectivity in their coverage and to the electorate to conduct themselves peacefully during the electoral process.
He urged Azimio supporters to desist from defacing any billboards and publicity materials belonging to their opponents, terming the competition a democratic exercise where there will be winners and losers, noting that Kenya will still go on after elections.
“We have seen some goons deface billboards in some parts of the country, this is an act of hooliganism which is primitive, and should not be tolerated in a civilized society,” urged the Azimio presidential aspirant.
Raila also called upon the Commission to inform Kenyans on the status of electronic identification of voters, transmission of results and if it has developed constitutionally and is compliant with the protocols, transmission for polling stations and the national tallying centres.
The former PM also asked the Commission to give the date when it will share the same protocols with stakeholders, as well as inform Kenyans the status of the voter registration exercise on county by county and constituency by constituency.
“We also want to know if the preliminary report of the register of voters done by the audit firm is ready and what are its preliminary findings and when the final draft report of the audit of register of voters is expected,” he added.
Raila said “We also want some information about the printing of ballot papers, and the measures the commission has put in place to ensure there are no lapses both logistical and security in the general election.”
He said the party also wants to be briefed on the status of the proposals by the Commission to amend the elections and general regulations which is currently before Parliament and the proposal to amend the regulations 3A of elections general regulations to give a presiding officer powers to open a ballot box that has been sealed to remove wrongly put materials at the constituency tallying centre and the reasons for the amendments.
Azimio Party is also seeking answers from IEBC for submitting a proposal to amend the elections regulations to give itself exclusive mandate to appoint electoral officials who include constituency returning officers, county returning officers, presiding officers and their deputies without sharing their details with political parties and their independent candidates as presently required by regulations 3, 4, and 5 of the Elections General Regulations 2012.
The Party also needs an explanation from the Commission on the steps it has taken to eliminate risks that could affect the functioning of the election technology and when it will carry out timely testing of election technology.
Leaders who accompanied Raila to the event were the former Vice President and Party Leader of Wiper Democratic Movement Kalonzo Musyoka, Governors Wycliffe Oparanya, Charity Ngilu, James Ongwae, Anyang Nyong’o, Hassan Joho, Members of Parliament Gladys Wanga, Tim Wanyonyi, Jeremiah Kioni, Junet Mohammed, Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris, former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth among others
A total of 11 presidential candidates have been cleared to vie for the position of fifth president of Kenya of which four are from political parties while six are vying as independent candidates.
Deputy President William Ruto was cleared yesterday June 4, 2022 by IEBC to vie as the flag bearer of Kenya Kwanza Party with his running mate Rigathi Gachagua.
Earlier, the former PM attended a Sunday service at the All Saints Cathedral that was presided over by the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Kenya Jackson Ole Sapit who urged those delegated with the responsibility of governance to nurture the young generation into responsible citizens.
The Archbishop who prayed for all the leaders aspiring for elective positions in the forthcoming elections who attended the Church service said when the country gets the right leadership and nurtures all that needs to be nurtured Kenya will have a prosperous nation.