four validated candidacies for the August presidential election

A historical opponent supported by the outgoing president, the current vice-president and two lawyers, one of whom is inspired by Rastafarianism: the Kenyan electoral commission has validated four candidacies for the presidential election on August 9, at the end of the process registration completed Monday evening.

This is the smallest number of candidates in a presidential election since the establishment of a multiparty system in 1992 in this locomotive country of East Africa.

Of a total of 17 files, four have “met the constitutional and statutory requirements”, announced the electoral commission (IEBC) in a press release.

The ballot promises to be a duel between two big favourites: historic opponent Raila Odinga and Vice-President William Ruto.

Outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta, who cannot stand for a third term, announced in March that he would support his former rival Odinga, thus formalizing his break with Ruto, his vice-president since 2012 whom he had initially designated to succeed him.

Odinga and Kenyatta have begun an unexpected rapprochement since 2018, after violence following the 2017 election disputed by Odinga left dozens dead.

At 77, Raila Odinga will seek the presidency for the fifth time after attempts in 1997, 2007, 2013 and 2017.

This figure of Kenyan politics was notably Prime Minister between 2008 and 2013 of a government of national unity, after the post-election violence of 2007-2008, the worst since the country’s independence in 1963 (more than 1,100 dead and hundreds of thousands of displaced people).

His main opponent William Ruto, 55, poses as a representative of the “resourceful” of the common people in the face of the political dynasties embodied by MM. Kenyatta and Odinga, whose fathers were respectively the first president and vice-president of independent Kenya.

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Kenyatta and Ruto were allied in 2012 when they were both prosecuted for crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court for their role in the post-election violence of 2007-2008, where they were on opposite sides. The charges were dropped in 2016.

Two lawyers are also in the running.

Founder of the “Roots Party” inspired by Rastafarianism, George Wajackoyah is an eccentric lawyer, who also served as an intelligence agent in the police in the 1990s before going into exile in the United Kingdom until 2012.

The program of this sexagenarian plans in particular to reduce the working week to four days and to legalize marijuana to finance the Kenyan debt.

Also a lawyer, David Mwaure has made the fight against corruption his hobbyhorse. He had already presented himself in 2013 before withdrawing for another candidate.

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