Wiper Party Leader Kalonzo Musyoka Barred from Kenyan Presidential Race

Wiper Party Leader Kalonzo Musyoka Barred from Kenyan Presidential Race (News Central TV)

Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka will not run in the presidential election on August 9 due to a technicality, according to the electoral commission.

At the same time, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has approved 16 candidates, who will begin submitting nomination papers today.

There are nine political/coalition party candidates and seven independents on the ballot.

The IEBC has cleared leading candidates Raila Odinga and Deputy President William Ruto of the United Democratic Alliance.

Musyoka failed to include a list of his supporters in the required Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

He is one of four political party candidates and nine independents who failed to meet the IEBC’s strict requirements of at least 48,000 supporters from at least 24 counties, as well as proper presentation of supporters’ names and copies of their national identity cards.

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Failure to clear the first hurdle marks the end of Musyoka’s brief presidential run, which began when he was denied the Azimio running mate position.

Even before the IEBC barred him from running, Mr Musyoka’s supporters and Wiper aspirants were putting pressure on him to return to Azimio and support the Odinga-Martha Karua ticket.

He now has few options because he cannot legally leave Azimio. However, he is treading carefully as he prepares to rejoin the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party.

Wiper wanted Mr Musyoka to go all the way to the ballot box if its demand for a share of government was not formalised and deposited with the Registrar of Political Parties.

The party has reportedly demanded at least four cabinet positions in addition to the Chief Cabinet Secretary position offered by Azimio la Umoja presidential candidate Odinga.

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It wants Odinga to give it the portfolios of Energy, Water, Health, and Tourism. It is also requesting a 30% share of diplomatic posts.

Governors Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni) and Charity Ngilu (Kitui) have also spoken out, saying Mr Odinga should not give Mr Musyoka preferential treatment if he rejoins Azimio la Umoja.

Prof Kibwana, who is in charge of Azimio campaigns in Makueni, Machakos, and Kitui counties, had demanded that any talks with Mr Musyoka include leaders of affiliate parties.

“Finally, Wiper has decided to join Azimio about two months to elections. Dialogue with Azimio leadership must involve those of us who have been selling Azimio in the region; those who did the heavy lifting,” Prof Kibwana said.

Ngilu reportedly stated that she was willing to take over as Chief Cabinet Secretary if Mr Musyoka did not return to Azimio.

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On Sunday, Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr stated that Mr Musyoka was in talks with President Uhuru Kenyatta, who also serves as the chairman of the Azimio Council, the coalition’s highest decision-making body.

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