Azimio la Umoja- One Kenya Alliance flag bearer Raila Odinga has been warned against ignoring the push to name Kalonzo Musyoka as his running mate.
There are growing concerns that the former prime minister’s winning formula could be jeopardized if he chooses a different deputy, particularly one from President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Mt Kenya region.
It would be devastating if Kalonzo leaves Azimio out of dissatisfaction and halts the anticipated robust campaigns in Ukambani.
If Kalonzo meekly agrees to back Raila without actively consolidating his supporters for Azimio, that would generate voter apathy.
According to Tongaren MP Eseli Simiyu in the event Raila does not pick Kalonzo as his running mate, the former vice president should not just accept backing Raila but campaign vigorously like in 2013 and 2017.
“Kalonzo must not just accept to back Raila but also campaign for him across his turf to assuage any fears,” he says.
According to political pundit and lawyer Danstan Omari it will be suicidal if Raila opts for a running mate from Mt Kenya instead of Kalonzo.
“If Raila goes for a Mt Kenya running mate, it will not add more than 100,000 votes on top of what he can get himself as Raila Odinga without a Kikuyu running mate,” Omari said.
Raila has tasked a group of seven politicians and religious leaders with vetting those who wish to succeed him and submitting a name by May 10.
In selecting the ideal candidate, Raila’s team will examine charisma, political experience, the capacity to mobilize and add votes, as well as regional and ethnic balance.
Kalonzo is up against Narc Kenya party leader Martha Karua, Peter Kenneth, Sabina Chege, Hassan Joho, Charity Ngilu and Gideon Moi in the race to deputize Raila.