- Mr Ruto dismissed the ODM leader as a non-starter whom he would comfortably beat in the 2022 presidential elections.
- Jubilee MPs from Mt Kenya, who accompanied Mr Ruto, vowed to counter Mr Odinga and called on their party to begin housekeeping to avoid being caught flat-footed.
Orange Democratic Movement party leader Raila Odinga says it is too early to discuss candidature for the 2022 presidential election.
In a statement by his spokesperson Denis Onyango on Sunday, the former Prime Minister said he had entered no race and “knows no race that is on”.
“Raila Odinga does not believe — that three years into an election expected in 2022 — who is running, who is ahead, who is behind, who is going to win, what are the odds and who will lose; is the priority the Press should force Kenyans to occupy themselves with,” read the statement.
“It undermines meticulous efforts to help the country address delicate issues facing it, like violent elections every five years, runaway corruption, troubles in the counties, reforms to education and endangered national values.”
Instead, the party said its focus is on ensuring the success of the Building Bridges Initiative, “and in particular ensuring that any recommendations for legal and constitutional reforms are fully implemented”.
“Matters of 2022, including who we will front as our presidential candidate, will be dealt with at that time,” ODM secretary-general Edwin Sifuna said in a statement.
Speaking at the burial of Eva Donde, mother of former Gem MP Joe Donde, Mr Odinga announced ODM was revamping in readiness for the 2022 General Election and asked party members to prepare for grassroots elections next year.
He said he realised it was time to change strategy as he waits for the opportune time to ascend to power.
“You have seen me change tact. This is a strategy. There are several ways that can lead us to where our ambition is,” Mr Odinga said.
This was interpreted to mean he was in the race for the elections, which would pitch him against Deputy President William Ruto.