George Wajackoyah Withdraws From Presidential Debate

This has been confirmed through a press statement by the Roots Party on Tuesday, July 26.

George Wajackoyah Withdraws From Presidential Debate
George Wajackoyah and Justina Wamae during a past media briefing. /FILE

Roots party presidential candidate George Luchiri Wajackoyah has officially pulled out of the 2022 presidential debate.

This has been confirmed through a press statement by the Roots Party on Tuesday, July 26.

Party Spokesperson Wilson Muirani, alias Jaymo Ule Msee, revealed that Wajackoyah will not attend the debate because "we will not subject the incoming President to the Joke of an already predetermined debate.”

Presidential candidates William Ruto, Raila Odinga and George Wajackoyah. /VIRALTEAKE

"The media cannot decide the outcome of an election before the poll day. The notion that some candidates are trailing others or some leading others is baseless.

"We refuse to be counted as 'others' in this important democratic duty of seeking the presidency," the statement read in part.

Wajackoyah's campaign team has further accused the Presidential Debates Secretariat of failing to address their concerns raised on Thursday, July 21.

“We would like to however state that our candidate is available to share the same podium with all the four presidential candidates as we define our agenda to all Kenyans,” the party added.

Wajackoyah now joins the Azimio coalition's Raila Odinga who withdrew from the debate on Sunday, July 24. He had initially threatened to pull out of the debate unless he was paired with Raila and Deputy President William Ruto of Kenya Kwanza.

The man who has vowed to legalise marijuana for commercial uses to bolster Kenya's economy argued that he has a huge support base, particularly in Nairobi, that was enough to go head to head with the country's top presidential candidates.

This is despite a number of opinion polls placing him below the 5 per cent mark that would categorise him amongst the first slot of candidates during the debate, with the latest by Infotrak on Wednesday, July 13 placing him at 4 per cent.

"I am not attending the presidential debate unless I am paired with Ruto and Raila. I am more popular in Nairobi than any of these people. I will win this election without debate," he vowed.

Meanwhile, the presidential debates secretariat maintained that it will still take place at the Catholic University of East Africa (CUEA) from 4 pm to 10 pm.

A collage image of Smriti Vidyarthi, Joe Ageyo, Yvonne Okwara and Ken Mijungu. /VIRALTEAKE

"In accordance with the presidential debate guidelines, we have shared the thematic areas with all the candidates and the moderators will endeavour to cover all the said topics within the set timeline," the secretariat stated in part.

It affirmed as per the debate guidelines, the moderators will select the questions to be asked and will not share them with the candidates, nor will they meet with any of the campaign teams or the candidates.