We’ll not take part in presidential debate without Uhuru and Raila, says ‘excluded’ hopefuls

Six candidates on Sunday said they will not participate in the presidential debates if organisers pursue a two-tier approach that excludes them.

The six are supposed to hold their debate without the two main contenders President Uhuru Kenyatta and NASA leader Raila Odinga.

“Should you still be committed to this discriminatory approach, the candidates and their running mates will have no option but not to participate,” they said.

In a letter seen by the Star, the candidates said it would be unconstitutional and illegal to hold such a discriminatory process.

“All presidential candidates and their running mates are equal before the law and the constitution.”

“We confirm our commitment to the debate but without any shade of discrimination,” the letter read.

The letter which was addressed to the Debates Media Limited was signed by the candidates and their running mates.

They are Independents Michael Wainaina, Cyrus Njirongo, Japheth Kavinga, Joe Nyaga, and Ekuru Aukot (Thirdway Alliance) as well as Abduba Dida (Alliance for Real Change).

Both Uhuru and Raila said they will not participate in the presidential debate citing challenges with its structure.

Uhuru’s team said the president will not take part as he was not consulted.

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The first debate was slated for July 10 while running mates were to argue their bids on July 17. The final presidential debate was to be held on July 24.

The July 10 plan was shelved following the conditions set by the candidates.

Candidates with above five per cent national support will be pooled together while those with below five per cent will take part in a separate debate on the same day.

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