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BY KORIR JUMA,NAIROBI,16TH JULY 2017-Hurdles facing the presidential debate expected to start Monday 17th July persists after six candidates threatened to pull out due to what they termed as discrimination in the process of organizing it.
In a statement Sunday 16th July , the candidates including independent candidates Michael Wainaina , Japheth Kaluyu and Thirdway Alliance flag bearer Ekuru Aukot said they cannot take part in a debate where they have been divided into two groups (two tiers).
“Further to our previous communications on the above-referenced matter, you are yet to clarify to us that you are not pursuing two tier presidential debates,” reads an official statement.
The dispute started when organisers decided to have two-time slots for the debates. One would pit the main contenders – President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga against each other, while the other presidential candidates would have the other time slot.
“Should you, therefore, be still committed to this discriminatory approach, the undersigned being duly cleared presidential candidates and their running mates will have no option but not to participate in what is a clearly unconstitutional, illegal and discriminatory process,” the statement said .
The first presidential debate that was due for July 10 was cancelled after President Kenyatta and NASA Presidential Candidate Odinga protested against the format adding that they had not been involved by the organisers.
Uncertainty is also looming over Monday’s running mates debate following the failure of Deputy President William Ruto and NASA’s running mate candidate Kalonzo Musyoka to confirm their participation.
The final presidential debate is planned for July 24.