Ahead of Raila Odinga naming his running mate next week, The wiper party had an elaborate scheme seeking to bolt out of Azimio if Kalonzo is not named and have him run as an independent presidential candidate.
The party was today concluding the collection of signatures which were set at 2000 per county in 24 wards as per the IEBC guidelines for presidential candidates.
According to sources at the party, the move is to target the winner in August and negotiate with them in a post-election deal as he did in 2007. In 2007, Kalonzo was third with 879,000 votes coming third and was appointed as Kibaki’s vice president.
With Azimio coalition deal locking out parties until the end of 2022, if Kalonzo is to vie he has to be an independent candidate and has to resign as wiper party leader and from Wiper then go independent. Concerns have also been raised on the timelines as according to IEBC, aspirants who will vie as independents already submitted their names and symbols to IEBC on 2nd May 2022. IEBC is then to gazette the independent candidates on or before 13th May 2022.
While addressing journalists Makueni MP Maanzo said that they have collected enough signatures to move out of the coalition if Kalonzo is shortchanged.
The Wiper party Deputy secretary-general said that Kalonzo shelved his presidential bid in order to deputize Raila and they will accept nothing less.
He noted that Kalonzo will have no reason to continue staying in Azimio if his initial intention is not achieved.
“The only reason why Kalonzo held his presidential ambition was so that he can deputize Raila. If he is not the Deputy then what benefit does he have?”Maanzo asked.
” We have already gathered enough signatures if at all Kalonzo doesn’t get the position. The law still allows him to vie under article 38. We can pull out and there will be no consequences like Mutua did,” said the lawmaker.
The discussion on who will deputize Raila has caused a lot of heat in the Azimio coalition. Kalonzo attended the interview in search of Raila’s running mate despite promising not to attend it.
The panel announced that it has settled on three candidates and presented the names to Raila. Raila is expected to name the finalists and announce his choice for running mate.