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ODM leader Raila Odinga reiterates he has not declared interest in 2022 race
Jacob Onyango|May. 12, 2019
- Raila reaffirmed his March 2018 handshake with Uhuru was about uniting Kenyans and not 2022 succession politics
- He said he had not communicated to anyone anywhere that he will be seeking for the presidency again in 2022
- The ODM leader appeared to read from same script with the president who had also indicated handshake was not about 2022 agenda
There have been claims Opposition leader Raila Odinga was planning to once again vie for the presidency, despite having tried and failed to clinch the top seat four times, but the ODM party leader maintained he had not declared his interest.
This is contrary to the position previously held by the ODM party which repeatedly indicated Raila will remain their main man and will face off with Deputy President William Ruto, Jubilee party's presumed 2022 presidential candidate.
Raila who was speaking at his rural home in Apoda Farm, Siaya county, where he held a meeting with a delegation of leaders from Nakuru county on Saturday, May 11, also clarified he did not ink any 2022 deal with President Uhuru Kenyatta when the March 9, 2018, handshake was hatched.
"I have not said I will vie for presidency. Decision of succession cannot be anchored on two people’s agreement which the majority of Kenyans were not party to," he said.
According to the former prime minister, the only deal they agreed on was to unite and build a stable Kenya through the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).
"We want a Kenya where all citizens have equal opportunity and access to primary health care and education as well as justice and equity in the redistribution and sharing of national," he said.
The Opposition chief echoed remarks made earlier by Uhuru who also dismissed speculations that the handshake could be about 2022 succession politics and not so much about uniting Kenyans.
"We have never for one day spoken with Raila about 2022. We are talking about things that we believe if we can fix them, then we are fixing them for generations to come," the president told journalists on December 28, 2018, in Mombasa.
The ODM leader equally rubbished reports that there was an exiting pre-election pact between Uhuru and Ruto, a political agreement that dictates a certain community must vote for a particular person as a way of paying back debt.
Raila said the political deal Uhuru had with Ruto prior to the 2013 General Election was personal and not binding on all communities and should therefore be rejected in its entirety.
"We were not part of agreement when they (President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto) said they signed pact. We were not part of the deal either," the ODM boss said.
Raila first vied for the presidency as a candidate of National Development Party (NDP) in 1997 when he unsuccessfully challenged retired president Daniel Arap Moi, the godfather of KANU party.
He tried his luck again in 2007 and controversially lost to retired president Mwai Kibaki who he joined forces with in the 2002 General Election to end Moi's 24-year rule using the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) as their political vehicle.
The ODM party leader, still hopeful he could win, was back on the ballot in 2013 but once again failed to succeed in his political quest, even after challenging the poll outcomes at the Supreme Court.
His last stab at the presidency was in 2017 and yet again luck was not on his side, after which he decided to enter into a peace agreement with Uhuru following prolonged political stand-off that left the country sharply divided along tribal and party lines.
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