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Why Alai is backing Ruto over Kalonzo in Raila’s absence

By Wangu Kanuri February 27th, 2024 2 min read

Kileleshwa Member of the County Assembly (MCA) Robert Alai suggests the impending exit of opposition leader Raila Odinga from the political scene complicates the chances of Kalonzo Musyoka defeating President William Ruto in the 2027 presidential election race.

In a post on X, Alai, known for his controversial comments, claimed, but without sharing proof, that Mr Odinga’s supporters have more confidence in President Ruto as compared to Mr Musyoka.

Alai’s comments came hours after Uganda President Yoweri Museveni hosted both President Ruto and Mr Odinga at his Kisozi farm in Western Uganda.

The three leaders later confirmed the talks centred around several issues, including Mr Odinga’s bid to become the next chairperson of the African Union Commission. (AUC)

He said, “Let me tell you with a lot of certainty. If Baba (read Raila Odinga) is not in the (presidential) race in 2027 and given between Kalonzo and Ruto, ODM (Orange Democratic Movement) supporters would easily go for Ruto. ODM supporters would trust Ruto over Kalonzo ANY DAY.”

In an interview with NTV towards in 2023, Mr Musyoka, who is the leader of the Wiper Democratic Movement, declared his intent to contest for the presidency in 2027.

Mr Musyoka further stressed that supporting Mr Odinga possible bid for the fourth time in 15 years was out of the question.

Subsequently, the question of leadership within the Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya Alliance Movement has seen a push and pull on Mr Odinga’s success in attaining the AUC position in 2025.

Despite the AUC term being four years, analysts point out that Mr Odinga has the option to resign a year before the 2027 elections in Kenya to join the race.

Nevertheless, Ida Odinga, Mr. Odinga’s wife, has set her sights elsewhere.

At an event in Nyandiwa, Suba South, last week, she disclosed her preference for nominated MP John Mbadi to succeed Mr. Odinga if his AUC appointment pans out.

“Baba as he goes to AU has mentored many to take care of what he’s left behind. Mbadi after all these years of mentorship do you still need more training? Should I continue? That’s Baba’s heartbeat,” she said.

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