Deputy President William Ruto has described threats by his main rival Raila Odinga that there will be no elections if the IEBC does not adopt the use of the manual register as those of a man who has developed cold feet in the face of defeat.
The Kenya Kwanza Alliance presidential candidate took issue with the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition demands for the use of a manual register by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in the August polls.
“You heard yesterday our rival demanding that the manual register must be used in the August poll for him to take part. He has already sensed defeat and has now declared war against IEBC after realising that the ‘deep state’ he overly relied on will be of no help to him,” Dr Ruto said.
He went on: “No one has compelled you (Mr Odinga) to be in the race, the election will go on with or without you.”
The DP spoke Thursday as he pitched tent in Marsabit, Kenya’s second largest county, for the second day as he sought support from locals.
Dr Ruto questioned why there was a sudden change of goal posts by his opponents, “yet they were the same people who were in support of the electronic register in the 2017 general elections.”
He told Mr Odinga to cease issuing threats and blackmailing IEBC.
He held that IEBC was an independent agency that ought not to take any orders and threats from anybody.
Additionally, he urged Mr Odinga to bow out of the race or give way to another presidential candidate in case he has developed cold feet ahead of the August poll.
Similar sentiments were held by Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro, who said that the Azimio brigade was breeding fertile ground for dismissing elections results even before they happened.
Garissa Township MP Aden Duale called on Marsabit residents to elect leaders who would best represent their interests in the National Assembly.
Mr Duale said the Supreme Court’s ruling in the 2017 polls stated that the digital register was the sole document to be used in identification of voters.
He added that Mr Odinga was under no obligation to be on the ballot if he is not ready.
Tharaka Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki warned Mr Odinga against threatening the electoral commission, saying he could not be a player and a referee at the same time.
In Laikipia East, Dr Ruto’s ally, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi hit out at President Uhuru Kenyatta for backing Mr Odinga for the presidency.
The Democratic Party (DP) leader said the President’s move is the reason he fell out with him politically.
Mr Muturi said his conscience would not allow him to back Mr Odinga only few years after the Head of State demonised him.
“You all know that Mr Kenyatta told us that Mr Odinga is not fit to lead the country during the 2013 and 2017 presidential campaigns. The president has been my close friend for 25 years and I personally asked him why Mt Kenya voters should now back the Azimio la Umoja candidate and he did not give a satisfactory answer,” he said at Solio Village 4.