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The African Elections Project :  your authoritative African Elections Information and Knowledge online portal, covering elections across the continent

Projecto Eleições Africanas: seu portal autorizado para informação e conhecimento sobre Eleições Africanas. Cobrindo eleições por toda Áfrca.

Le projet sur les elections en Afrique: votre portail exclusif et credible d'information et de connaissance en ligne, qui couvre les élections à travers le continent
Date:24 Jun 2022
Kenya Election 2022: Get familiar with the Presidential candidates

Kenya will be heading to the polls on August 9 2022 to select a president for the next five (5) years in a keenly contested election marking the end of the Kenyatta era.

The presidential election will be held at the same time as the general election which will elect representatives of the National Assembly and Senate, county governors and members of the 47 county assemblies.

With Kenya’s two-round system of electing a president, candidates must receive over 50% of the vote in the first round and at least 25% of the vote in a minimum of 24 of the 47 counties to be declared as a winner.

On 6th June 2022, the election management body of Kenya, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) cleared four (4) presidential aspirants to contest in the general election. The number was cut down from 55 following the IEBC’s vetting of aspirants.

The candidates include David Mwaure Waihiga (Agano Party), Prof. George Wajackoyah (Roots Party), veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga (Azimio Coalition Political Party) and Deputy President William Ruto (United Democratic Alliance).

As the East African nation of 22,120,458 million voters prepare to take this important step in their governance to select a president for the next 5 years, we present what you need to know about the four (4) presidential candidates.

David Mwaure Waihiga

David Mwaure Waihiga is one of the 4 candidates cleared by the IEBC to run for President. He is the leader of the Agano Party which he founded in 2006.

A clergyman and a lawyer with 35 years of experience, he once made an attempt at the presidency in 2013 but dropped out of the race to run for Governor in the coastal Kenyan Lamu County. His gubernatorial ambitions however proved unfruitful like his presidential run.

Although involved in Kenyan politics for more than a decade, Waihiga is not a household name like the two frontrunners; William Ruto and Raila Odinga.

Waihiga promises to bring fresh blood to Kenya’s governance, fight corruption and jail those he calls “COVID-19 billionaires”.

The Agano Party leader has announced a communication expert, Ruth Mucheru Mutua as his running mate for the August 9 election. Mutua is one of the 3 female running mates in the election.

George Wajackoyah

Nairobi-based legal practitioner George Wajackoyah is one of the 4 hunting for Kenya’s top job.

The presidential aspirant holds a rich 25-year experience in law and is also the leader of the Roots Party of Kenya.

Wajackoyah is campaigning to legalize marijuana for economic use in Kenya to manage the country’s huge debt. He plans to introduce snake farming in Kenya for medicinal purposes and to promote agriculture.

The aspirant whose campaign messages have sparked a lot of controversy, also has a bold plan to tackle corruption which includes hanging corrupt officials.

Other controversial plans for Wajackoyah’s presidency include creating eight prime ministerial positions in his government, suspending the constitution for six months and changing working days to Monday through to Thursday.

His running mate is Justina Wambui Wamae, a procurement expert and a former parliamentary aspirant in Mavoko.

Raila Odinga

Raila Odinga is a seasoned Kenyan politician and businessman who was the Prime Minister of Kenya from 2008 to 2013.

He is the head of a dynasty that began with his father Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, an independence hero and Kenya’s first-ever vice president.

Odinga is the presidential candidate for Orange Democratic Movement under the Azimio La Umoja Coalition in the upcoming August elections.

This will be Odinga’s fifth shot at the Kenya presidency after previous 4 unsuccessfully attempts; in 1997, 2007, 2013 and 2017.

Raila Odinga is seen as a multi-party democracy advocate which he fought for in the late 80s while Kenya was still a one-party state led by authoritarians.

Odinga suffered detentions without trial for his revolt against authoritarianism and attempts to overthrow the Daniel Arap Moi regime.

Odinga announced his 5th presidential bid in December 2021 following his surprising truce with longtime political rival President Uhuru Kenyatta.

In a rather controversial move, President Kenyetta is reported to have thrown his support behind his archrival Odinga instead of his Deputy President William Ruto.

Odinga has picked Martha Karua, a former justice minister, as his running mate to bring in mass votes among her Kikuyu people, the country’s largest ethnic group.

Odinga’s campaign revolves around tackling corruption and fixing the loopholes which he says are denying ordinary Kenyans basic services. He is also promising national reconciliation to unite the country, judiciary reforms and social welfare for poor households across Kenya.

William Ruto

William Ruto is the Deputy President of Kenya since 2013.

He is running for president on the United Democratic Alliance ticket to replace Uhuru.

Starting his political career in the early 90s with hugely popular lobby group, Youth for KANU 92 (YK92) which he helped found, Ruto rose through the ranks as a member of parliament, deputy minister and a cabinet minister as well as several other positions.

He joined Uhuru Kenyatta to form the Jubilee alliance in 2013 for the presidential election which they won.

Ruto has been the subject of several controversies including his 2010 legal troubles when he was charged by the International Criminal Court (ICC) with multiple charges, including murder during the violence that followed the 2007 election.

He got out unscathed after the ICC case faced challenges and became acting president in October 2014 when Kenyatta briefly relinquished his seat to attend to charges at the ICC that were later dropped.

Ruto has chosen Rigathi Gachagua as his running mate, a legislator from the Mount Kenya region and a vociferous critic of President Kenyatta.

Ruto is campaigning with a plan to focus on SMEs and inject close to half a billion dollars annually to put money back into the pockets of common Kenyans.

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