Kenya: Be My Running Mate, Kalonzo Asks Raila

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka has asked ODM leader Raila Odinga to join him as his presidential running mate in next year's General Election.

Speaking at Akamba Handcraft in Changamwe, Mombasa County, Mr Musyoka said that ODM's announcement on Thursday that it was leaving the National Super Alliance (Nasa) marked the end of the coalition and that parties should unite and fight those who are seeking leadership despite having a history of corruption.

"I welcome my big brother Odinga who I have supported immensely in his political career for more than a decade. What I am saying is that there is no political debt, but I want him to use his wisdom and join me as my running mate and move this country forward," said Mr Musyoka.

He added: "Let us be focused this time, and I am going to be a presidential candidate in next year's General Election. I do not want to be a peacemaker any more. I will no longer be considered a weak candidate this time for the sake of peace."

Speaking just a day after ODM announced it was ditching Nasa to chart its political journey, the Wiper leader is optimistic Mr Odinga will join the One Kenya Alliance (OKA) which will have different terms from those of the Nasa coalition.

Mr Musyoka, who is on a three-day tour of Coast region, said he will support all his Wiper candidates from ward level to ensure his party wins most of the seats in the coming elections.

"Wiper has leaders that have no corruption history and we would like to work with other like-minded politicians but we shall not associate ourselves with those who, after acquiring wealth unlawfully, are now bringing wheelbarrows to Kenyans," said Mr Musyoka.

On Thursday, ODM's National Executive Council (NEC) resolved to formally exit the Nasa coalition to fully focus on the future as it embarks on building new partnerships.

New partnerships

ODM secretary-general Edwin Sifuna, in a statement, said the party was keen on building new partnerships ahead of the upcoming political season.

ODM's decision to exit the coalition came two days after Wiper made a similar announcement. Mr Mudavadi's ANC had earlier expressed its intention to leave the coalition but has not made the move official.

ANC and Wiper are two of the four constituent parties that make up the OKA, the others are Kanu and Ford Kenya.

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