Roots Party presidential candidate, Professor George Wajackoyah, has confirmed that he will not attend the presidential debate slated for July 26, 2022.
Wajackoyah opts out of upcoming presidential debate, explains why
Amizio la Umoja presidential candidate Raila Odinga has also withdrawn from the debate
“Roots party would like to state that our Presidential Candidate Prof George Wajackoyah will not attend the presidential debate because we will not subject the incoming President to the joke of an predetermined debate,” read part of the communication.
A letter authored by Roots Party spokesperson Jaymo Ulee Msee, faulted the Presidential debates secretariat over failure to address concerns raised on July 21st 2022.
“The media cannot decide the outcome of an election before the poll day. The notion that some candidates are trailing others or is leading others is baseless.
“We refuse to be as ‘others’ in this important democratic duty of seeking the presidency. We sent an official letter to the presidential debate team on 21st July and we are yet to receive official communication on how the concerns we raised were addressed,” the statement said..
Adding that; “We would like to however state that our candidate is available to share the same podium with all the four presidential candidates as we define our agenda to all Kenyans,”.
Wajackoyah's demands to the Presidential debates secretariat
On July 22, Wajackoyah said he will only attend the debate if organisers allow him to debate with Azimio la Umoja presidential candidate Raila Odinga and Kenya Kwanza’s William Ruto.
“We would like to notify you that our candidate Prof Wajackoyah will only attend the debate if he will be dating with the Azimio and Kenya Kwanza presidential candidates," the letter read in part.
According to Roots Party, the polls used to pair the presidential candidates were not factual.
“Our decision is informed by the fact that the polls used as a determined to pair the presidential candidates are not factual because they are conducted by pollsters with interests in some of the political parties participating in the presidential debate,” Roots party says in the letter addressed to the 2022 Presidential debate secretariat.
Raila withdraws from Presidential Debate
On Sunday, July 24, 2022 the Spokesperson of the Raila Odinga Presidential Campaign Secretariat, Prof. Makau Mutua confirmed that the Azimio flagbearer will not attend the Presidential Debate.
Explaining the move, Makau noted that it would be meaningless for Odinga to take part in the debate if key issues of national concern are to be left out as per the request of Kenya Kwanza’s William Ruto.
"That is why he has demanded that the debate not focus on corruption, ethics and governance. These are issues at the core of the Azimio campaign; any debate devoid of these questions will be an insult to the intelligence of Kenyans," Mutua said.
According to him, having Raila participate in the debate would amount to campaigning for his competitor, William Ruto.
"It would be a colossal mistake to reward such a person with a national debate. We will not assist his failing campaign; he can explain himself and his poor record to voters without our help.
"We plan to take part in a televised town hall at Jericho Social Hall in Nairobi's Eastlands with ordinary Kenyans to offer our solutions to the challenges facing the country and common people," the statement read in part.
However, the Presidential debates secretariat confirmed that the debate will go on as planned.
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