IEBC clears Raila Odinga, Martha Karua to run for presidency

Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya deputy president candidate Martha Karua campaigning at Kaptembwo in Nakuru County on May 27, 2022. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya Coalition Party presidential aspirant Raila Odinga has been cleared by the IEBC to vie in the August 9, 2022 General Election.

Odinga appeared before the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairperson Wafula Chebukati at the Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi on Sunday, June 5.

His running mate, Martha Karua, who is the NARC-Kenya Party leader, was also cleared to run for deputy president under the Azimio coalition party.

The criteria that the duo met include providing at least 48,000 signatures from 24 counties, minimum educational qualifications, proof that they are duly registered voters and proof of meeting the integrity test.

This marks the fifth time that Raila Odinga, a long-time opposition leader, is taking a stab at the presidency. He unsuccessfully ran in 1997, 2007, 2013 and 2017 general elections.

Martha Karua, 64, also tried her luck in the presidential race in 2013, but was unsuccessful. This is the first time that she is seeking the deputy president seat.

The two are regarded as Kenya’s second liberation heroes, with each playing a role in championing human rights and multi-party democracy.

Should Odinga win the presidential contest in August, Kenya will have its first woman vice/deputy president.

Odinga, 77, is enjoying President Uhuru Kenyatta’s support in the upcoming polls. This was occasioned by the duo’s March 9, 2018 handshake, a move that saw the former rivals work closely together, pushing Deputy President William Ruto to the periphery of government operations.

Ruto and his running mate Rigathi Gachagua, who is the current Member of Parliament of Mathira Constituency in Nyeri County, were cleared to run for presidency on Saturday, June 4.

This is the first time that Ruto, 55, is trying his luck in the presidential contest.

His running mate Rigathi, 57, is a first-time MP and a first-time candidate in the vice/deputy president race.

The two will run on the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) Party ticket, which is under the Kenya Kwanza Coalition.