Wajackoyah opts out of Presidential debate

Wajackoyah opts out of Presidential debate

BY KORIR JUMA,NAIROBI,26TH JULY,2022-Roots Party presidential candidate George Wajackoyah has officially announced he will not attend Tuesday’s presidential debate.

In a press release by the party’s spokesman Wilson Muirani, Wajockoyah said he will not be subjected to ‘the joke of an already predetermined debate .’

“We would like to state that our presidential candidate Prof Wajackoyah will not attend the presidential debate because we will not subject the incoming President to the joke of an already predetermined debate,” reads the statement.

Wajackoyah said the fourth estate cannot decide the outcome of an election before the poll day.

He was referring to the presidential debate which has been divided into two sessions based on the recent poll results.

The current arrangement by the Presidential Debate Secretariat is to have a two-tier debate; the first featuring candidates whose popularity in the three most recent polls stood below 5 per cent while the second featuring candidates who polled above 5 per cent in the same surveys.

“The notion that some candidates are trailing others or some leading others is baseless. We refuse to be counted as ‘others’ in this important democratic duty of seeking the presidency,” reads the statement.

The Roots party leader raised concerns about the ‘silence’ from the presidential debate secretariat.

The party revealed that they sent an official letter to the presidential debate team on July 21, 2022, but are yet to receive feedback from the team.

Wajackoyah had earlier said he will only attend the debate if the two other presidential candidates will be on the panel.

“There is no need for me to attend if Deputy President William Ruto and Azimio la Umoja leader Raila Odinga will not be in the debate,” he said.

However, Wajackoyah said he is available to share the same podium with all the four presidential candidates as they define their agenda to all Kenyans.

This now leaves the presidential debate to Deputy President William Ruto and Agano Party’s  David Mwaure Waihiga.

On July 24, 2022, Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga pulled out of the event.

Raila’s spokesman Makau Mutua said the Azimio leader is not keen to share a national podium with Ruto, whom he described as a person who lacks basic decency.

“As is well known, our opponent has traversed the country hurling epithets at us and other key national leaders, including vile sexist attacks,” Makau said.

“It would be a colossal mistake to reward such a person with a national debate. We will not help his failing campaign.”

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