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‘Baba is not Amber Ray’: Alai Rules out Raila, Ruto handshake

Kileleshwa Member of the County Assembly (MCA) Robert Alai has quashed claims Azimio leader Raila Odinga is angling for a political handshake with President William Ruto.

After weeks of protests and the exchange of not-so-rosy words between the senior politicians, President Ruto and Mr Odinga appeared to close ranks at the weekend with the announcement of bipartisan talks between representatives of the pair.

The talks are aimed to, among others, help in bringing down the cost of living and addressing electoral reforms including the selection of new Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commision (IEBC) members.

But there have been reports that the talks could lead to Mr Odinga, who finished second behind President Ruto in the August 2022 polls according to the official IEBC data, getting a share of government.

But in a tweet, Alai, who was present when Mr Odinga read addressed the nation and confirmed his willingness to engage in dialogue, shared: “Guys, Baba isn’t Amber Ray to ping-pong from maandamano to Ruto’s handshake. Baba isn’t interested in anything less than a lower cost of living for Kenyans and a better electoral process that strengthens our democracy. Hayo tu. Handshake mpatieni Gachagua.”

Mr Odinga on Sunday, hours after President Ruto called for peace talks, called off the anti-government protests but warned he would revert to mass actions within a week should the talks fail.

Mr Odinga, in his address, underscored that the demonstrations were a fundamental right enshrined in the Kenyan constitution and asked that all arrests related to the demos be stopped. He also asked Dr Ruto to address the high cost of living as well as reinstate the Cherera 4 Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) commissioners.

Such talks in the past have led to a political union between Mr Odinga and former presidents Daniel Moi, Mwai Kibaki and Uhuru Kenyatta.

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