Kenya: Raila quits presidential debate, says Ruto lacks ‘basic decency’

Nairobi — Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga has withdrawn from the presidential debate scheduled for Tuesday, July 26.

Odinga’s campaign secretariat said his candidate cannot share a national podium with someone who lacks “basic decency”, even though he called his main challenger, Kenya Kwanza’s William Ruto, a “man who has no respect for ethics, public morals or shame”.

“Our main opponent has proven over the course of his career that he will do and say anything in his ungovernable greed for power. Today, as his campaign crumbles and his supporters abandon him, he has become desperate,” said the secretariat’s spokesman, Professor Makau Mutua. in a statement released Sunday.

“Any debate without these questions would be an insult to the intelligence of Kenyans. That is why we do not intend to share a national podium with someone who lacks basic decency,” he added. .

Mutua accused Ruto’s team of seeking to divert attention from corruption, integrity, ethics and governance which are the major issues and concerns facing Kenyans.

He went on to say that the issues were at the heart of Azimio’s agenda and that any debate devoid of questions revolving around these issues would be “an insult to the intelligence of Kenyans”.

Odinga’s campaign went on to say that it would be a grave mistake to reward their opponent with the national debate which they say would amount to helping his flagging campaign.

The Coalition however said it would hold a televised town hall at Jericho Social Hall in Nairobi’s Eastlands where “ordinary Kenyans will have the opportunity to offer solutions to the challenges facing the country and ordinary people”.

“Our flag bearer Raila Odinga and his running mate Martha Karua will answer questions put to them by the people of Kenya openly, honestly and free from what would otherwise be empty and selfish political theater,” the campaign said.

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