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Atwoli: Raila should be the next president

Trade Unionist Francis Atwoli has welcomed Jubilee Vice Chairman David Murathe’s endorsement of Raila Odinga’s bid to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2022.

Atwoli, who also has been championing for a change of the constitution through the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) which is a brainchild of President Kenyatta and Odinga, made this significant political declaration on Sunday.

‘REWARD’ RAILA

“I am endorsing the comments by Murathe that he (Raila Odinga) should have a go at the Presidency. Of course Kenyans have great people including Musalia Mudavadi, Kalonzo Musyoka, Gideon Moi, and Joho (Hassan) who can do the job, but it appears to be Odinga’s time,” Atwoli said.

Atwoli’s comments come a day after Murathe argued that Kenyans needed to ‘reward’ Odinga with the presidency in 2022.

In an interview with KTN, Murathe likened the opposition leader’s presidential bid to that of former South African president Nelson Mandela.

YEARS OF STRUGGLE

Murathe further said he expects Odinga, who will be 77 in 2022, to rule for one term if he gets elected, even though the constitution would allow him two five-year terms.

“We think it is time Kenyans rewarded the years of struggle of Raila Amollo Odinga. They owe it to him. 2022 will be a Mandela moment. And we would also like to tell him to be a transitional president who will then nurture the young generation to take over in 2027,” said Murathe.

This is the first time a senior member of the ruling political party is proposing a Odinga presidency, a statement that works out as a blow to Deputy President William Ruto’s bid to succeed his boss.

Odinga has unsuccessfully vied for the presidency in three general elections – 1997, 2013 and 2017.