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Raila's dilemma ahead of Azimio running mate announcement

Focus now on Azimio la Umoja as deadline approaches with many waiting to see how the Raila-led coalition will handle the dilemma

File image of President Uhuru Kenyatta, ODM leader Raila Odinga, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and KANU's Gideon Moi

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga was holed up in a meeting for the better part of Sunday morning with possible running mate nominees in attendance at the Serena Hotel in Nairobi.

The meeting was also attended by President Uhuru Kenyatta before a convoy of the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya coalition party luminaries left for the Kamukunji Grounds.

Raila is set to hold a mega rally at Kamukunji grounds in Nairobi today, Sunday May 15, with reports indicating that the ODM leader may unveil his running mate at the rally.

Earlier on, Azimio Press Secretary Dennis Onsarigo explained that they still have almost 48 hours with the deadline set to expire at midnight on May 16 2022.

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"We still have time. The deadline is tomorrow at midnight. We still have 48 hours to go. (The unveiling will happen) between now and tomorrow night. We still have time.

“At Kamukunji, we have a big rally there today. If the unveiling happens there well and good. If it doesn't, then we still have time," Onsarigo explained to a local publication.

Several experienced politicians, including Martha Karua, Sabina Chege, Kalonzo Musyoka and Peter Kenneth are eyeing then slot.

The ODM party leader has increasingly found himself under pressure, struggling to come up with a deal that will please everyone and avoid a fallout that could see him lose votes.

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Among his biggest headaches has been Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka and his handlers who made it clear that they will settle for nothing less than the running mate slot.

“There is a scheme to deny me the running mate position due to ethnic considerations. Unlike others who have been proposed, I am the only candidate who will ensure Azimio beats our competitors," Kalonzo explained.

He added: "I decided to shelve my presidential ambitions for the sake of the ODM leader. We have also walked the journey together with him and if he decides to abandon me at this hour of need, then he will not win the presidency.

“The ODM leader should make a wise decision. If he allows himself to be misled, he will not win the presidency."

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Should the former vice president fail to clinch the coveted slot, Wiper party will move ahead and present his name to IEBC as the party’s presidential candidate in a move that could hurt the former Prime Minister’s bid.

"The only reason he stopped his ambitions was to support Raila as his deputy. In the event that is not there, the law does not stop him from running. In the event Raila and President Uhuru Kenyatta change their mind, we will run on our own.

"We have collected all the signatures and they are ready. On the May 16 running mate naming deadline, we cannot miss that, we have identified a suitable running mate for Kalonzo," the Wiper party brigade, led by Makueni Member of Parliament, Daniel Maanzo explained.

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