Header Ads

Uhuru, Raila opt out of 2017 presidential debates

Jubilee Party leader Uhuru Kenyatta and NASA flag bearer Raila Odinga will not participate in the presidential debates slated for Monday, July 10 and July 24.

Jubilee Vice Chairman David Murathe announced this morning that the party felt there was insufficient consultation and therefore took issue with the show format. Murathe also indicated that Uhuru Kenyatta was not consulted on the debate.

Jubilee Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju said the organizers of the debate have neither contacted State House nor Jubilee party formally regarding the debate.

“This debate is being organized through advertisements in the media by some people we do not know. They went ahead to give the dates of the debate with no consultation with the president. They have not contacted State House or the party. We do not know what the ground rules are and we won’t participate,” he said.

A few hours later, NASA presidential campaign secretariat in a letter to the press said that Raila Odinga will not take part ‘in the under the proposed format and stipulation’. NASA secretariat however urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to be open to debating Raila Odinga on issues affecting Kenyans.

The Debates Media Limited committee together with the Kenyan media houses’ journalists in May declared the official Kenya Presidential Debate dates at Radisson Blu Hotel.

Earlier, the Alliance for Real Change candidate Abduba Dida moved to court to challenge the categorisation of the candidates into two groups with the purposes of having two separate debates on the same day.

Those with a popularity rating of less than five per cent, six of the candidates, are scheduled to participate in a separate debate – at 5.30pm – while the only two with a higher than five per cent rating, President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, are scheduled to debate at 8pm.

A plan Dida has taken issue with on the grounds that it gives the impression that the six are, “second class” candidates and wants the court to call off the entire affair if the organisers maintain the separation.

According to the latest Infotrak poll, President Kenyatta leads in the popularity race at 48%, Odinga follows at 43%, Dida scored 0.5% while Ekuru Aukot, Cyrus Jirongo and Joe Nyagah each scored 0.1%.

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.