In a surprising turn of events, Azimio leader Raila Odinga has recognized William Ruto as Kenya’s duly elected Head of State.
In an interview on March 18, 2023, Mr Odinga, who has been leading protests across the country against President Ruto’s government, explained that the mega project could culminate in delivering a petition to President Ruto at State House.
“We will present our demands to President William Ruto,” said Raila in an interview with TV47
This marks the first time in about two months that Mr Odinga has referred to Ruto as President, as he previously claimed that the presidential election in August 2022 was rigged against him.
“We cannot and will not recognize the Kenya Kwanza regime and consider its government illegitimate,” Odinga said.
“We as Azimio reject the 2022 election results. We cannot and will not recognize the Kenya Kwanza regime and consider the Kenya Kwanza government illegitimate. We don’t recognize William Ruto as the President of Kenya,” Odinga said.
Odinga finished second against President Ruto in the hotly contested elections that attracted four candidates. He challenged the results in the Supreme Court but lost the case.
Buoyed by a faceless whistle-blower’s account of events suggesting he won the polls, Mr Odinga has since led mass protests across the country accusing the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) of electoral fraud.
He has also demanded that the government lowers the cost of living and be ready to negotiate the composition of the electoral commission.
President Ruto has maintained that he will not be intimidated by Mr Odinga and urged Kenyans to ignore calls for mass protests as he charts the way forward towards the economic stability of the country. It remains to be seen whether Mr Odinga’s recognition of Ruto as the duly elected Head of State will lead to a shift in his political strategy, especially as he is set to lead a mega protest in Nairobi on March 20, 2023.