President Uhuru Kenyatta and Nasa flag bearer Raila Odinga will not take part in the upcoming TV Presidential debate.
Jubilee Party vice chairman David Murathe was the first to announce that Uhuru will not participate in the debate, scheduled for Monday “ to avoid being drawn into a shouting match”.
Murathe also cited the lack of consultation by organisers, saying the President was “not aware of the rules of engagement”.
“How can we go into a debate not knowing what the format is? So let them do it without him,” Murathe said.
Raila’s senior advisor Salim Lone would subsequently issue a statement saying that “baba” as the opposition chief is popularly referred to, would also not take part in the debate.
NASA Presidential Campaign Secretariat, however, urged Uhuru to be open to debating Raila on the issues affecting Kenyans in the present circumstances.
The first presidential debate is slated for July 10 and is scheduled to be held at Catholic University of Eastern Africa at 7.30pm while running mates will argue their bids on July 17. The final presidential debate will be held on July 24.
The organizers had announced that the main debate would be between Uhuru and Raila then the other candidates will have their own adding that they would only invite those who command at least five per cent popular support in opinion polls, which prompted one of the presidential candidates Abduba Dida, to move to court saying this requirement was discriminatory.
The IEBC had cleared eight presidential candidates, including Uhuru and Raila to vie for presidency in the August elections.
The others presidential aspirants include; Cyrus Jirongo (United Democratic Party), Ekuru Aukot (Thirdway Alliance), Abduba Dida (Alliance for Real Change) and independents Joseph Nyagah, Michael Wainaina and Japheth Kavinga.